The opera A Streetcar Named Desire, adapted from the Tennessee Williams play by librettist Philip Littell and composer Andre Previn, premiered in 1998 at SF Opera and was revived last week by the Merola program, the young artist summer workshop that launched the career of stars such as Patricia Racette, Anna Netrebko or Thomas Hampson.
It is an odd choice, as Merola invites roughly thirty super talented singers and coaches to its ten week program, and Desire was designed to feature pretty much one, Renee Fleming, who created the role of Blanche DuBois. Outside of the meaty soprano role, the cupboard is rather bare, and the skills of the other singers are somewhat wasted on the smallish other roles. Also, the opera isn't too compelling. The story moves slowly and takes three hours to build a couple climactic scenes, but there is a lot of filler in between.