Friday, March 02, 2007


It is that time in San Francisco when trees begin to blossom....

And tonight (1 March 2007) there was also A FLOWERING TREE at the symphony where John Adams conducted his new opera by that name. It featured three young American singers whose characters were interpreted by three traditional Balinese dancers. It is a tale of transformations where a maid turns herself into a flowering tree in the first act. The second act descends into horrifying pain, transforming all later into light. The opera is magic as a fairy tale, grim as a fairy tale.
The audience felt it was a special event, not only because of the beauty of the music and the production, but there was also the thrill of its being "new," Adams' first opera since DR. ATOMIC, and so different from that opera. An added thrill was the actual earthquake that rocked the top balcony, where I was seated, during the intermission between the two acts.
Peter Sellars directed, and he spoke before this performance, as he had before DR. ATOMIC, which he also directed. As always, his enthusiasm knew no bounds so that I felt it would be wrong not to record the moment with my unobtrusive digital (self-appointed rule-breaker) for so long as I could before scolded into stopping by an usher:

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