A shiny light was squarely placed on Verdi's score: all the details came out brightly, all the nuances were expertly underlined. That delicate, masterfully controlled introduction only lead to more of the same rich, varied, and always crisp execution from all the parts of the orchestra. Conlon blended harmoniously all the sections -- ok, maybe once a tuba came in too strong -- plus the Chorus, and accommodated the singers so they could express themselves within the constraints of his supportive beat: more rigid in the opening Requiem or Dies Irae, and looser in the Offertorio, for instance. Conlon was able to land the orchestra softly after each of the numerous sonic explosions: chorus and brass ablaze, yet transitioning into a soft moment in a few beat. Very impressive.

Picture of Christine Brewer in this year's SF Opera production of Fidelio, by Terrence McCarthy, courtesy of SF Opera