Awesome Auditions

It is probably safe to claim that Merola’s first foray into an off-season bring-a-friend event was a resounding success, as our guests from the San Francisco Opera Center staged an insider’s look at the Merola audition process. A steady stream of people filled Herbst Theatre last night—I set my coat down to save my place in a nearly empty theater and minutes later every seat seemed to be filled, with a buzz beginning to build as well as the sudden and unexpected need for air conditioning. Read more »

Some Puccini with that pilsner?

SAN FRANCISCO – I met my twin sister in the confessional at the Irish Bank bar yesterday, where she and her Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon, clients were meeting with beer-interested Bay area press. I snuck away from the Opera to be regaled by Larry the Brewmaster with tales of hops, brewery waste processes, Alaskan fishing, and anticipation of a late fall stout. As I slowly slid down the hard wooden bench (packing five or six people in a space originally meant for only a priest and a guilty parishioner isn’t recommended) the question of pairing beers with wild mushrooms came up—this apparently being a peak year for wild mushrooms. I began to wonder about beer pairings with a higher form of culture (and my place of employment). Could beer and opera form a match made in heaven? Read more »