Conductor: Nicola Luisotti
Director: Rob Kearley
Rigoletto: Quinn Kelsey (Hawaii)
The Duke of Mantua: Pene Pati † (New Zealand)
Gilda: Nino Machaidze * (Tiblisi, Georgia)
Matteo Borsa: Amitai Pati * † (New Zealand)
Countess Ceprano: Amina Edris † (New Zealand)
Count Ceprano: Anthony Reed † (Minnesota)
Marullo: Andrew G. Manea * † (Michigan)
Count Monterone: Reginald Smith, Jr. * (Atlanta)
Sparafucile: Andrea Silvestrelli (Italy)
Giovanna: Buffy Baggott (California)
A page: Erin Neff (California)
An usher: Jere Torkelsen (Nebraska)
Maddalena: Zanda Švēde (Latvia)
*San Francisco Opera debut †Current Adler Fellow
I included the entire cast from Verdi's Rigoletto so you could see how many of the cast members were Adler fellows. In addition Zanda Švēde was Adler 2016, Quinn Kelsey is Merola 2002. This is just bragging. Two Georgias are represented, one in eastern Europe, the other in southern US. And Quinn is native Hawaiian. This is the present day world of international opera.
I enjoyed this very much. The production seemed prettier, livelier. Pene Pati started off a bit slow, but improved as he went along. His high notes have a spectacular ring. Nino Machaidze seems to have skipped hers, but was otherwise OK.
One is always searching for the wonderful, glorious portrayal of Rigoletto himself, and we found it today in Quinn Kelsey. The second act aria was especially beautiful and received a suitable ovation. This is the role that makes this opera, and Quinn covered the emotional gamut of this complex character.
I keep thinking how much we will miss the maestro.