Michael Severance, Bassoonist

Michael Severance, Bassoonist, San Francisco Opera Orchestra

Bassoonist Michael Severance (pictured to the right of colleague Dan MacNeill) says that one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing in the Opera Orchestra is the great sense of humor shared by his colleagues. Playing in the pit for hours on end can be very taxing, so a little humor goes a long way toward staying engaged through the end of a performance. Michael recalls a particularly groovy aria from Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera during which all of the back-row winds would dance in their seats. The boogieing escalated with each performance until, in the final show, a certain unnamed principal bassoonist was grooving with such gusto that he inadvertently slammed his bassoon into his music stand, causing a huge ruckus. Take a close look into the pit during our final La Boheme performance tomorrow and you might see some of the hijinks for yourself!