At one point, I tried to express how uncomfortable I was, my teacher told me that I was an adult and I could have left at any time. I was 20. On my way back home, my teacher's husband told me that they had decided to increase John's paycheque for all of the extra work he had put in.
While in the first act, the singers interacted awkwardly, with little to no dramatic commitment to their movements or singing, in the final moments of the show, the principals all rose to the occasion, singing and acting with dramatic impetus that temporarily stopped time.
"Each rejection only affirmed this belief; if I really had talent, someone would want me. On the other hand, each time I did manage to be cast, I was afraid it had been a mistake, and wondered if there was some other sort of agenda. To this day I find it difficult to trust mentors."
In Puccini's anodyne libretto however, des Grieux and Manon become unwitting martyrs. Des Grieux's self-pity is sublimated into hopeless romanticism too pure for a cruel world. Manon, mercurial and unparsable in the novella, is given a clearly defined voice and a straight-forward moral compass.
In general, tempos throughout the performance were sluggish, particularly in the first act. The love duet plodded along and the Te Deum was agonizingly slow, as was Mario's third act aria "e lucevan le stelle."
With all these different uses of the one dramatic tool, the creative team certainly believed in the effectiveness of the medium. I think it could have been trimmed a bit, because it distracted from the artists on stage.
"Several years ago I was cast in a production opposite a tenor I had briefly dated. After the breakup he had harassed me and my friends, so I was dreading seeing him, but figured that as he was cast as Basilio, we wouldn't have too many scenes together."
"It is my sincere hope that men in the opera industry and in general will read stories like this and gain a deeper understanding of what real consent looks like."
Ivany told me that there are always audience members at these performances for whom opera is a new experience, and I think bringing opera to new audiences in this manner is a fantastic idea.
"Luisa is a character totally surrounded by men who, in that time, control her life. But her father speaks up for her. This makes me think, 'Bravo, Giuseppe! You are speaking about important things for your time.'"