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Last Night: Mozart's Don Giovanni at Cowell Theater
January 31, 2009
Emily Hilligoss, SF Weekly

Those who subscribe to the stereotype of opera as aloof, inaccessible, and expensive owe it to themselves to visit the San Francisco Lyric Opera at Cowell Theater in Fort Mason...The theater is an unusually intimate venue for opera, a feature that this production exploits beautifully. It's hard to imagine sight gags involving Don Giovanni's accordion-sized list of lovers coming off as effectively from Row Z in the upper balcony. Nor would the smashing final scene, in which the unrepentant Don gets dragged off to hell by a horde of red-lit hobgoblins, pack the kind of visceral punch that it did on Friday night -- sinner, you better get ready, because but for the intervening orchestra pit, you'd be next. Speaking of the orchestra -- masterfully led by 34-year-old Barnaby Palmer -- its visibility and proximity to the audience was especially serendipitous for this work, as there are a couple of scenes in which it is featured in the libretto, becoming particularly intrinsic to the plot unfolding onstage.

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Seducer on the Looose
January 25, 2009
Anna Carol Dudley, San Francisco Classical Voice

San Francisco Lyric Opera’s ambitious production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, heard Sunday afternoon at the Cowell Theater in Fort Mason, owes much to Romania. Two outstanding singers from that country led the accomplished cast of this beloved classic: Eugene Brancoveanu as Don Giovanni and Razvan Georgescu as his sidekick, Leporello.

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