Baritone Lucas Meachem stars as Don Giovanni in the Mozart opera currently on stage at the SF Opera (three shows left). Every year we see singers go through the ranks of the Merola and Adler programs. Those programs are like the SF Opera Triple-A affiliates of the major league team and we try each year to guess which singers will come back headlining big new productions. Well, Meachem did big time, landing gigs here, at the Met or at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The run started two weeks ago and while reviewers agree in their admiration for Lucas' wonderful honeyed tone and his vocal brilliance [and] theatrical panache, we were puzzled by the disturbing stage direction by Gabriele Lavia: Don Giovanni wears the sunglasses of Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killer and ritualizes and fetishizes his embraces by hiding his victims' face under a white handkerchief. Rather than conjecture emptily on what it all means, we just called and asked Lucas. Guess what, he's quite the charmer indeed.