Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Season at the Lyric (so far)

I love going to the opera.  I got hooked on it in grad school and try to go to a couple every year.  I find that opera is a touchy subject with most people I.   For those of you who don't like going to the opera, I have prepared a little chart here to help change your mind.  For those of you who DO like the opera, skip the chart and read on!
There.  Now that we know that it is definitely worth it to go to an opera, let's talk about the operas that are currently out this season!  

I have seen two of the several operas out this season so far and they couldn't have been more different!  The first one was Macbeth by Verdi.  As expected, it was over the top in drama, it was pretty depressing, full of madness (thank you Shakespeare) and the music was lush and memorable.  There were only three singing parts and no tenor at all (yay!).  The soprano who played Lady Macbeth completely stole the show.  The sets and the costuming were great with simple, yet effective symbolism that would have made Shakespeare proud.  

A Midsummer Night's Dream couldn't have been more different!  There are so many characters in this story, so many scenes, and so much going on that it only made sense to throw in an entire children's chorus and a dog!  Britten is a 20th century composer, so the music may not be what you expect to hear in opera if you aren't that familiar with it (there are some great cello parts).  In fact, I saw several people walk out before intermission!  However, Britten is hilarious in the ways that he plays with our musical expectations and everyone involved in the show was fabulous.  The actor who played Puck had the audience laughing aloud!

The other operas out this season are Carmen (who wouldn't want to hear the Toreador's Song again??),


a Masked Ball (Verdi is always great for a stunning and moving opera experience), The Girl of the Golden West (Puccini is quintessential opera.  Italian.  You'll love it.), Lohengrin (Wagner.  Oh boy.  I've never seen any Wagner live.  Who wants to go with me?), and Hercules (as much as I'd like to see a Handel opera, this one has a modern take to it that doesn't thrill me).

the only one I wouldn't recommend is The Mikado.  It is a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and I personally find their work to combine the least likable characteristics of an opera with the least likable characteristics of a musical.  Stay home.  Go to a sporting event.  Play a video game.  OR..... go to the opera and enjoy it and prove me wrong!

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