This mix of breaking down the fourth wall, group narratives and of course, lots of singing provided for a wonderful and unique theater experience. I have had little to no experience with the Negro Spiritual genre, and Jubilee was truly educational experience.
Storen, Glaser, and Soden's teamwork resulted in a score that really is like a Pandora's box. It is a complex kaleidoscope of sound worlds with flavours of new-age, atonal, and modernist experimental styles.
If the themes are supposed to be timeless (and, indeed, as clear and obviously sketched out as they are in the opera's text), then should it not stand to reason that those themes would still ring true regardless of whether or not it was set in Ancient Rome or in America in 2019?
The sense of companionship the chorus seemed to share extended to their singing which was some of my favourite of the afternoon. Together with the 7-piece ensemble led by conductor Valentina Peleggi they created some absolutely sublime, stylistically considered music.
Even though, of course, I knew of this story's roots in Romeo and Juliet, I was nonetheless shocked and heartbroken by these characters' deaths in the Rumble scene and then watching the rapid unraveling of Maria and Tony's lives in Act II.
We are talking about an indeterminate and ever-changing tradition that has been developing for over four hundred years. Perhaps it is time to cast form aside entirely and explore where it is headed for the future.
Brooklyn-based Regina Opera has taken on Verdi's Il Trovatore and though they clearly have limited resources, they have staged a first-rate, fully-realized production.
The singers playfully (or angrily) splash about, shoot each other with squirt guns and finally land dead in the (unheated) water for the violent finale.
To me, Tosca is just about a perfect piece of theater. I think it's funny that it often gets dismissed as absurdly over-the-top melodrama, especially in this moment in time when Game of Thrones is so wildly popular, and the latest Avengers instalment is the highest grossing movie in theaters.
The preparation for this single show can stretch over an entire season, with input from the multiple teachers and coaches who come to work with the young artists throughout the year.