"I wish I had started to save money earlier. I wish I had invested in travel containers for toiletries earlier, because I cannot tell you how many tiny shampoos I have accumulated over the years."
"I often take for granted how lucky we are to have access to such wonderful music and music-makers in London. The rich history of classical music in London has enabled musicians to take advantage of world-class composers, conductors, teachers and venues."
With music by Jack Perla and libretto by Jessica Murphy Moo, An American Dream spotlights the lives of two families against the backdrop of Japanese internment by the U.S. government following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Frida Kahlo was Mexican, an artist, a woman, disabled, queer, Communist. Though the pacing of the opera was choppy and piecemeal, resembling a biopic in its sweeping depiction of her teenage romance, her life-altering bus accident, her revolutionary politics, and her turbulent marriage, the format was well suited to highlight the many intersecting facets of Kahlo's complex and richly lived biography.
It doesn't help that Gounod's setting is about as dusty as operas get, focusing more on the downfall (and ultimate redemption in death, of course) of Marguerite, than on Faust's own psychological struggle, this opera always comes off like a parody of a 19th-century morality play, which was only emphasized by Staley's design which could have been pulled straight out of a European theater from 150 years ago.
Connolly, whose prolific contribution to classical performance over the course of her career - a career that has now made her a household name - garnered palpable excitement from the audience from the moment she walked on stage. She carries a sense of poise and authority as a performer, yet showed great vulnerability.
"Handel wrote this role for castrato Gioacchino Conti, who was, by all accounts that I read, a complete freak of nature: he could allegedly sing high Cs (as in, C6), and while he preferred to sing roles with more lyrical material, he was known to be equally virtuosic in how he executed coloratura."
This production of The Rape of Lucretia was presented as one of BLO's now-signature installation operas: in this case, much of the action was concentrated on a relatively small circle in the center of the Arts for Humanity Epicenter building.
Seated precariously close in the second row, I probably had a dorky, star-struck look plastered on my face as I took in the high caliber classical singing.
When someone mentions Tchaikovsky's opera, the image in my head is of a starry-eyed Renée Fleming in a white nightgown in front of a clear blue background on a stage covered in thousands and thousands of gold and orange autumn leaves.