San Francisco Opera’s 86th season, Opera Ball 2008

Friday, September 5th at the War Memorial Opera House: Referred by the media as SF's most glamorous night out, Baritone sensation Dmitri Hvorostovsky (right) brought his "magnetic stage presence" and "gut grabbing vocal heft" to Verdi's Simon Boccanegra (Houston Chronicle). A Shakespearean-like tale of treachery, rebellion and familial love, Dmitri was joined by Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli, praised for her "impassioned lyricism" by The New York Times; the dou were the best fit I has seen in a long time... Donald Runnicles of course conducted a remarkable score.

Picture taking was as good as Oscar night on the red carpet - amazing gowns are like eye candy. After trying out 3-4 gowns, I settled for a short length. Weather was 90%, unusual for SF. Pictures is coming soon....

Needless that I had the privilege of seeing the same Opera during its dress rehearsal Tuesday eve, where I wiped my eyes out, I did not mind seeing it again during the gala affair. The festivities began at five o’clock. Upon entering the reception, we were transported to an exquisite Italian Palazzo where we feasted on sumptuous hors d’oeuvres while sipping fine wines and spirits. At 7pm, the curtain rose for the performance of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. Indeed a performance. In fact, while I would have loved to stay the whole course, I left after intermission to the glamorous Jardinière restaurant, - where we were joined by many who did the same. Late night was a stop at Scalas in WC, where night cap is the custom - A fabulous night indeed. Cheers! sb