While the pernicious Belgian was the first to break the final piece of the puzzle, the Opera Tattler was first to get the whole thing out there before anyone else. Thanks to the comment section on her blog, I just took a look at what David Gockley is serving up at the Warm Memorial next fall, and while it's only exciting if you're one of those "the voice is everything" kind of opera fans, I'll admit it is interesting.
First of all, though it's understandable, there isn't a 2010-11 season in the same way subscribers have become used to. The Ring is the summer offering and it's a separate package. SFO is offering six fall operas and that's it until next year. Only one will cause any real excitement to fans of opera as a complete experience who've been attending performances for awhile: Janacek's The Makropoulos Affair with Karita Mattila. The rest will succeed because they're tried-and true war-horses guaranteed to sell seats (Aida and Madama Butterfly- each with a surprising run of 12 performances) or the casts are so strong people won't be able to resist seeing them- Werther with Ramon Vargas and Elina Garanca, Placido Domingo as Cyrano de Bergerac (the biggest surprise and a nice feather in Gockley's cap for bringing Domingo back to SFO for the first time since the 90's), and The Marriage of Figaro with "it-girl" Danielle de Niese.
Other notable singers taking to the stage next fall will be Eric Owens, who was stellar in the company's Porgy and Bess, Dolora Zajick as Amneris (for what must be the 100th time), quickly-rising local favorite Quinn Kelsey, Svetla Vassileva as Butterfly, Marcello Giordani, Carlo Ventre and Lucas Meacham.
Some of the brightest of the Adlers, including Maya Lahyani and Susanah Biller will be heard a few times during the fall as well.
Not exciting, but then the the 2009 season looked totally lackluster on paper as well and it turned out to be the best overall season the company has had in years. If I had to place bets, as long as Domingo shows up, the only dud of the season may well indeed be Aida, as Otello proved to be last year. Otherwise, it looks like Gockley may be poised to repeat last year's success.
Did I really just write that?