‘Il Trovatore’ by the San Francisco Opera

By Richard Scheinin [Mercury News, 12 September 2009]

As is the tradition, the new season at San Francisco Opera was ushered in Saturday night with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But the bombs weren’t bursting in air. Nicola Luisotti, the company’s new music director, conducted the orchestra almost as if it were an Italian village band, taking the national anthem at a slow clip — charming, but a little odd.