Correspondence with Sal, Carol Jean and Jonathan

November, 2005

Bill, It was wonderful to see you again at our reunion. It is a pity that we don’t live in the same city since we both have such a love of opera. Have you ever seen the video production of Tosca (on Decca label) with the young Placido Domingo and Sherill Milnes? It is-visually and sonically-one of the finest produced operas on video that I have ever seen. . . Unfortunately I have a class in about fifteen minutes which I must prepare for. I’ll talk with you again. Regards, Sal

Sal, better than the Decca video (which I will look for) I saw the 29-year old Domingo in San Francisco for both the SF Opera’s 1970 productions of “Carmen” with Joy Davidson and “Tosca” with Dorothy Kirsten and Louis Quilico, James Levine conducting. He had actually debuted a year before in “La Boheme” in a late season alternate cast. Since I had seen the principal cast of Luciano Pavarotti and Dorothy Kirsten in “Boheme” earlier in the season (and also Pavarotti and Mirella Freni in Boheme in 1967), I had skipped the alternate cast. Incidentally, the 1970 Domingo performances were also the later season alternate casts. By 1972, Domingo was to have his own new production of “Tosca”.

December, 2006

Bill, Great idea….you’re so clever but I’m not surprised….what are your future plans for your website? Carol Jean

Hi Carol Jean. For sure, I plan to record my thoughts on the 2004 San Diego Opera production of Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” that we saw together, as well as review the San Francisco Opera mounting of San Diego’s production, to which the Bay Area was treated in Summer, 2005.

Hi Bill, How nice to hear from you. I have written a post about your site and blog and linked to it from (my blog) Wellsung. It looks really terrific. I like your anecdote about the Tannhauser score being a watershed moment for you! Anyway, I will add you to my list of bookmarks and will keep up to speed on reading your posts! All best, Jonathan

Hi, Jonathan. Your dad alerted me to your website. I found the review that your parents posted of the San Francisco Opera’s Sunday matinee “Forza del Destino” to be very interesting. We were obviously at the same performance, although I did not run into them. I pretty well skewered the physical production, and apparently your parents were disrespectful of it also. As I reflect on the production, I have begun to believe that this turned out to be quite different than was originally conceived. I don’t think I even believe that they intended to mount a production of “Forza”, but were going to do something else entirely. The Pamela Rosenberg era in San Francisco has ended, leaving some unanswered questions.

I appreciate learning about the Wellsung site and plan to follow your chronicles of the New York City opera scene.

February, 2006

Bill, your article on the “Pearl Fishers” is very profound. I particularly enjoyed the many interesting facts that you included, both about the opera and Zandra. Carol Jean.

Hi Carol Jean –

Many thanks for coming up with a ticket for me to join you at one of the San Diego performances. It was quite a show for the General Director (Ian Campbell) to come out before the performance to congratulate the audience for being lucky enough to have secured tickets. I am assuming that he is planning a revival of the production there in one of the next seasons. Bill