I'm just done with it. It's exhausting and gross. I've learned (unfortunately) that on the Venn diagram of people who are pro-opera and people who are creeps, there's serious overlap.
"The singers all study or have studied music and want to immerse themselves in the process and see how far they can stretch themselves. It can be daunting, but they are up for the challenge."
This was a co-production with multiple opera houses around the world, including Houston Grand Opera and Opera Australia. As usual, the individuals in the company were top notch vocally, but unfortunately the production over all fell flat.
What I like about The Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival is that it is always a mixed bag. It is an incredibly liberating thing to watch so many creative performers and theatre-makers experiment with the limitations of the form.
All senses were catered to as audience members were misted with fragrant water and touched softly by the performers while being whispered and sung to directly.
"The greatest purpose is to be evaluated. Every major competition brings famous vocalists or professionals involved in music to the jury."
Writing an opera of this scale is not a simple charge and the task of producing it faces even more challenges; it is an immense work to attempt to pay homage to. There were a few magical, sparkling moments on stage that were completely true to the book, perfectly capturing the essence of Tolstoy's words.
Characters would regularly go and stand at the bar to the right of the stage and "hang out" while the action was happening. This made for a very relaxed, fun and interactive atmosphere. In the Prince's aria during the party scene, Falke brought up a random audience member to take part in the festivities.
I really liked Ms. Manich's bold choice at the end of having the sisters have suitcases in hand ready to leave. Just as the music ends the women make eye contact with their former fiancés, and they freeze.
At the end of the performance, the audience was served the very chocolate cake depicted in the opera, bringing the experience full circle. A decadent finish to a decadent evening.