Azucena, the gypsy woman with an obvious PTSD situation over having accidentally thrown her own baby in a fire several years back. The crackling fire triggers the memory, and Azucena sings "Stride la vampa" ("The flames roar").
Maybe because of morbid curiosity, I'm oddly pumped for this season. It'll be like watching opera history happen: we've gotten used to digital opera, and there's more out-of-the-box thinking happening now than we've had in centuries.
Rigoletto sings this aria at the moment he learns that his boss's goons have kidnapped his daughter, Gilda. He begs them to give her back, in a crazy sweep of drama that starts at enraged and ends at desperation.
Leonora sings this from the cave she's been living in lately, hermiting away from things like botched elopements and family curses. This marathon aria is certainly one to work on closely with your trusted teachers and coaches.
As ever, I was truly inspired by the creativity of the artists in the line-up this season at Tête à Tête; they never fail in their curation of and encouragement for any and all work that lies outside the realm of the traditional.
Indeed Barber, the most thoroughbred of warhorses and the ultimate comic opera, has the potential to delight anew with a sense of tradition that feels like innovation, even in a sprawling park on a smiling summer night.
The pandemic may have put performances on hiatus, but audiences are back and eager to enjoy live theater with all the passion and perseverance of the human experience. Welcome back, opera. We've missed you!
The heart wrenching scenes we did get were truly compelling, but I found myself getting impatient in the less exciting sections. The brief flashes of forbidden passion just weren’t enough to keep the momentum going, and I just wanted them to skip to the juicy parts!
What a pity, then, that Zingg and Pynkoski’s production couldn’t be showcased on a traditional stage, like that of Koerner Hall—where this production was originally set to premiere in April 2020—or the Elgin Theatre, Opera Atelier’s de facto home.
The virtual start to the Watershed Festival is no compromise, no placeholder for the in-person Festival set for spring 2022. "Going virtual has a number of silver linings," says Burry. "We've got people joining us from around the world, and I would imagine the best aspects of that kind of reach will always be a part of the festival moving forward."