Sunday afternoon I went to see San Diego Opera’s “Der Rosenkavalier.” The music was lush and beautiful; I agreed with the Union-Tribune’s Jim Chute in his glowing assessment of the singers’ and the orchestra’s performance.

One standout: The orchestra, and specifically the string section, made a huge, deep sound. If you saw my compilation Friday of a few vital stats for the production, you’ll remember the orchestra for this show is bigger than usual.

For our latest weekly installment of Behind the Scene TV, I talked Friday with NBC San Diego about the magnitude of the opera. Here’s the clip:

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The sets and costumes, which San Diego Opera borrowed from San Francisco Opera, are reproductions of the original sets used 100 years ago at the world premiere of “Der Rosenkavalier” in Dresden. A set and costume designer named Thierry Bosquet designed them for San Francisco.

I asked San Diego Opera’s general director, Ian Campbell, about why it matters to have so much detail in the pieces on stage. He said it helps the actors get further into character. In this case, they need to feel like they’re in the 18th century Austrian Empire.

“If all you did was just paint it on and not care very much, they’d sort of feel like cardboard characters,” Campbell said.

Photographer Sam Hodgson came with me to see the sets and costumes on Thursday; here are a few more photos of what we saw:

I’m the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531 and follow me on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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