With bad news billowing all over, let's note a few tendrils of the good. The San Francisco Opera, which has been going through a spell of deep worry (see a recent Joshua Kosman piece), had a big success with its Ring cycle. The show effectively sold out, generating $7,236,673 in box-office income.... Also, the consistently adventurous Minnesota Opera balanced its budget for the ninth season in a row, playing to 92% capacity. This record is especially noteworthy given Minnesota's history of championing new works and offbeat repertory; they offered Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights this season. Yes, AGMA's Alan Gordon, you can do well at the box office without putting on Traviata and Carmen round the clock, as City Opera's own history amply shows.... What might have been (but probably couldn't) in NYC: Zachary Woolfe visits Gerard Mortier in Madrid and sees his presentation of Messiaen's St. Francis, which opened the 2009 City Opera season in a fantasy parallel universe.... Just recently I was wandering Venice's canals looking for the sites of theaters where Francesco Cavalli's operas played. Tonight and Saturday night, the Vertical Player Repertory completes its run of Cavalli's Calisto by the side of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, slightly less historic but no less pungent. John Yohalem reviews the show at Parterre.