Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

San Diego Opera: Similar to the Met

After seeing two operas at the Met, I think San Diego offers a similar experience

Sputnik Chandeliers at The Met
Sputnik Chandeliers at The Met

I ended up in New York over the weekend and attended two productions at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center. The operas I saw were William Tell and Italian Girl in Algiers. Both are by Rossini. Nevermind that I’ll also be seeing Rossini’s Cenerentola later this week at San Diego Opera.

I’m not sure what I’ve done to warrant this triumvirate of Rossini operas. I was tempted to assign an existential meaning to this occurrence but sometimes mere coincidence is sufficient.

I will say that the experience of seeing an opera at the Met and at San Diego Opera was more similar than I was expecting.

Video:

Inside the Metropolitan Opera House

...New York City

...New York City

Former San Diego Opera general director, Ian Campbell — a former Met administrator as well — received criticism at the end of his tenure for creating an unsustainable “mimi-Met.” I think it’s safe to say that the comparison is fair. I’m not sure about the unsustainable part with the Met. Their $300+ million budget appears sound at the moment.

For starters, both theaters were built at the same time. The Civic Center in San Diego opened in 1965 with the Met hard on its heels in 1966. The current Met curtain is an exact match to the original golden curtain in the Civic before it was switched to crimson.

Both houses have tiered salons around a soaring, chandelier-filled entry lobby. Well, the Civic entry is low ceilinged but as soon as you go up one level the atmosphere has the same feel.

The Met has the famous sputnik chandeliers which were a gift from Austria and a dramatic central staircase, which is an ideal opportunity for elegant women in fabulous gowns to sweep down into the main room during intermission. It’s true, I watched it happen — repeatedly — and I’ve got to admit it was kind of awesome.

Some were better than others. [Grimace-face-emoji.]

In William Tell even some of the staging was eerily familiar as bad-guy soldiers armed with pointy sticks menaced the noble people of the town who were forced to grovel on the floor. In Italian Girl the set had that “Pirates of the Caribbean” feel that so many sets have had at San Diego Opera over the years.

There was a significant difference in the sonic experience. The Met is 1000 seats larger than the Civic, but it is shaped more like a shoe box. The shoe box is tough to beat when it comes to unplugged acoustics.

I saw one of the Met shows in the orchestra seating and another in the Family Circle — aka Family Nosebleed. The experience of the voices was impressively uniform. The difference in legroom? Only a toddler would have legroom in the Family Circle.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Don't forget Escondido

We're still spaying cats in San Diego
Next Article

Thai Joints rule in the Heights

Pick up or delivery, Thai fans have it good on Adams Avenue
Sputnik Chandeliers at The Met
Sputnik Chandeliers at The Met

I ended up in New York over the weekend and attended two productions at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center. The operas I saw were William Tell and Italian Girl in Algiers. Both are by Rossini. Nevermind that I’ll also be seeing Rossini’s Cenerentola later this week at San Diego Opera.

I’m not sure what I’ve done to warrant this triumvirate of Rossini operas. I was tempted to assign an existential meaning to this occurrence but sometimes mere coincidence is sufficient.

I will say that the experience of seeing an opera at the Met and at San Diego Opera was more similar than I was expecting.

Video:

Inside the Metropolitan Opera House

...New York City

...New York City

Former San Diego Opera general director, Ian Campbell — a former Met administrator as well — received criticism at the end of his tenure for creating an unsustainable “mimi-Met.” I think it’s safe to say that the comparison is fair. I’m not sure about the unsustainable part with the Met. Their $300+ million budget appears sound at the moment.

For starters, both theaters were built at the same time. The Civic Center in San Diego opened in 1965 with the Met hard on its heels in 1966. The current Met curtain is an exact match to the original golden curtain in the Civic before it was switched to crimson.

Both houses have tiered salons around a soaring, chandelier-filled entry lobby. Well, the Civic entry is low ceilinged but as soon as you go up one level the atmosphere has the same feel.

The Met has the famous sputnik chandeliers which were a gift from Austria and a dramatic central staircase, which is an ideal opportunity for elegant women in fabulous gowns to sweep down into the main room during intermission. It’s true, I watched it happen — repeatedly — and I’ve got to admit it was kind of awesome.

Some were better than others. [Grimace-face-emoji.]

In William Tell even some of the staging was eerily familiar as bad-guy soldiers armed with pointy sticks menaced the noble people of the town who were forced to grovel on the floor. In Italian Girl the set had that “Pirates of the Caribbean” feel that so many sets have had at San Diego Opera over the years.

There was a significant difference in the sonic experience. The Met is 1000 seats larger than the Civic, but it is shaped more like a shoe box. The shoe box is tough to beat when it comes to unplugged acoustics.

I saw one of the Met shows in the orchestra seating and another in the Family Circle — aka Family Nosebleed. The experience of the voices was impressively uniform. The difference in legroom? Only a toddler would have legroom in the Family Circle.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Terra Lawson-Remer out-raises Kristin Gaspar

San Diego State not ready for emergency
Next Article

Morgan Freeman as an extraterrestrial diplomat

You know the aliens have seen The Shawshank Redemption
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close