Placido Domingo Throws A Curveball
October 20, 2010
Baseball was clearly in the air at San Francisco Opera yesterday afternoon. Besides the fact that a few of the journalists present at the press briefing with Placido Domingo had just come from the ballpark where, among other things, they had heard the actress Zooey Deschanel sing "God Bless America," there seemed little real reason for that to be the case.
Nevertheless, sports analogies flew backwards and forwards at the briefing like we were watching a commentary from the ballpark rather than listening to one of the world's greatest living singers discussing opera.
At one point, Domingo compared the job of a tenor to that of a pitcher in a baseball game. At another, David Gockley spoke of the doubts that television executives had about airing professional sports on TV back in the day and compared it to the doubts that they have about putting opera on the small screen today. Domingo's final statement went something like this: "My dream is that see the opening night of the season at San Francisco Opera or La Scala or The Met from their home."
I know that Domingo is a sports fan and that SF Opera has enjoyed a partnership with the local ballpark over the past five years with its free outdoor simulcasts of productions beamed to audiences of more than 30,000 from the War Memorial Opera House. But the press event overemphasized the power of the Great Game a little too heavily for my taste.