The Opera Thread

Started by Hester Jean, Jul 31, 2017, 06:51 PM

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Hester Jean

Quote from: Bookman George on Aug 03, 2017, 10:31 PMThe Trial was also stunning theater. Musically, all the real interest was in the orchestra, which played Glass's music beautifully. (OTSL uses the Saint Louis Symphony in the pit, so the orchestra is always first rate.) I was speaking to one of the singers, Keith Phares, one evening before I saw The Trial, and he said not to expect any lyrical singing, and he was right. But the accompaniment was lush and lovely, as well as typically Philip Glass, so I did not notice mind the lack of vocal splendor from the singers. The piece was played on a stark set – a square set diagonally on the stage, and raked – with the upstage wall providing some doors and windows the cast could use to observe and comment on the action. Most of the singers played several roles, and they were all on stage almost all the time, watching when they were not actually part of the scene. It brought home the idea of the oppressive state bearing down on the main character. It all seemed disturbingly apt to our current situation, if I may be allowed a political observation. Glass calls it a comic opera, and it was surprising funny. A very powerful production.

Theo Hoffman said he had to learn all the roles so he could get his timing down.

Hester Jean

Quote from: Bookman George on Aug 03, 2017, 10:31 PMTitus, the Mozart, was the outstanding musical event of the season. There are six singers: two sopranos, two mezzos (both trouser roles), a tenor, and a bass-baritone. The chorus is used sparingly. All the singers in this production were splendid. To me, the two mezzos were absolutely perfect. It is hard to beat gorgeous Mozart arias and duets, sung at this level of artistry. The opera is rather static – it is in the style of Opera Seria, which was on its last legs when Mozart composed Titus. So there is a lot of characters standing around expressing how they feel and not all that much actual action. But the singing was so glorious that I didn't mind at all. The production was effective. Over the stage hung a huge eagle. As Titus's world collapses, so did the eagle, until it was in pieces on the ground. There were a few strange acting choices – whether made by the director or the singer, I don't know. The soprano singing Vitellia, who is at the center of all the characters, took a sort of flippant demeanor that seemed inappropriate sometimes. It did get some laughs, but really did not reflect the seriousness of the libretto. Perhaps others didn't mind it as much as I did.
Yes! What was with her taking her shoe off and rubbing her foot!  It was distracting and odd.
The eagle was very impressive!