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14 September 2015

Once again, San Francisco toasted its opera company while its gifted artists renewed the tradition of performing for the love of the art at yesterday's Opera in the Park.

A Toast. Returned by Music Director Luisotti.

Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducted the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and singers Leah Crocetto, Heidi Stober, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Piotr Beczala, Michael Fabiano, Vitaliy Bilyy, Elliot Madore and Andrea Silvestrelli, performing a program that featured Verdi, Rossini, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Puccini, Cilia, Charpentier, Tutino, Lehár, Caridillo and Korngold.

All of which came to an end with the traditional encores of O Sole Mio, Puccini's Quando m'en vo' from La Bohème and Verdi's drinking song Brindisi from La Traviata.

We like to arrive early enough to catch the rehearsals which always makes our picnic lunch taste better and doesn't disturb our neighbors (who, if they brought dessert, are sometimes invited to join us in a glass of wine). Then we clear a spot on the blanket and sit back to take in the world-class performance with all the respect it deserves. If we do it right, we laugh along with everybody else and silently shed an occasional tear as well.

Then, having done it right, we pour the last of our wine (which is sometimes bubbly) and sing the encore along with the stars to the music of the orchestra, hoping, as the last line has it:

In questo paradiso ne scopra il nuovo di!
May the new day find us in this paradise!

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