At times the stage was so overcrowded with schtick it was overwhelming. Banana jokes, chamber pot humor and smoke machines did not add to the talents of the cast or the beauty of the music.
Florida Grand Opera's Le nozze di Figaro, which opened on January 26 at the Adrienne Arsht Centre in Miami, took an uncharacteristically introspective look at this iconic comedic favourite, in a production that asked all the right questions, but sacrificed some laughs along the way.
The crowd, full of fans of all ages, shared a level of love and nostalgia for the work of John Williams and George Lucas that rivals opera fans' loyalty to Verdi and Wagner.
Martínez's inimitable dulcet vibrato tones had a way of embodying the butterflies into which her character eventually transforms. Anybody wanting an avenue to approach this opera would do well to begin with her music, which offers this opera's most audible links with the traditional Puccinian repertoire which is her specialty.
I think it is a good thing to have my sensibilities questioned. An opera score does not always need to be taken at face value and can be up to individual interpretation.
It is always tricky to adapt a book about storytelling to any medium outside of the written word, and it is even more difficult when you deal with a work which wears its political overtones like a badge of pride.
Unfortunately, Weisman's score does not always meet the standard that Cote sets. The issue is that Weisman's music is often relatively one-note if something of little dramatic import is going on.
Sitting in the audience, I had the feeling I was part of a long standing tradition, one that dates back to 1858 when the opera was first performed at Covent Garden.
There was literally something for everyone who enjoys culture. Though many elements tied together, in the end it had the same effect as a large, complex mosaic - no surprise since it was the result of a collaboration between many: Mr. Costanzo conceived the project in conjunction with the artistic directors of Visionaire and National Sawdust, which is known for its interdisciplinary productions.
Menotti holds an unusual niche in musical history – he's one of the rare post-Puccini composers who continued in the romantic or verismo style while the opera world became mostly atonal and minimalist. He is also one of only a handful of composers – like Wagner – who wrote his own libretti.