The projections describe how the librettists and composer themselves had never visited "Ceylon" (currently Sri Lanka) nor knew about the culture, and were writing from a place of ignorance. Then the curtain rises on the chorus, sets, costumes, and the opening in the tropical setting full of palm trees.
On October 22, Edmonton Opera launched what it describes as an “electric and exciting” 2022-23 season with one of Giacomo Puccini’s well-known dramas: Tosca.
The attention to detail in the characterizations extended to everyone else afterwards, as well. Matthew DiBattista brought a certain hesitancy to the Younger Son that made him endearing, even when he sang more confidently.
Pacific Opera Victoria’s season opener for 2022 is Carmen, taking a traditional look at a very traditional opera, but with a few excellent updates.
I wasn't sure where Jackson's interpretation lands on the scale of "bad girl", which was the main tag the company used in advertisements. On one hand, there was an impressively choreographed fight in the beginning between Carmen and another factory girl, where we saw Carmen's aggression.
"Frida is very well portrayed in this music, which is fabulous," says Paz. "The music reflects the pain that she was suffering. It reflects the great courage that she had in life. She was a kind of mischievous, rebel woman. That's very clear in the score and musically."
It is surprising how little effectiveness Puccini's score loses when performed in reverse order, and the score still lands each emotional beat even when the context feels radically different.
The score's harmonic language is relatively simple, but it is also quite full of little treasures like this, and I found myself enamoured by it by the end.
"This production of Roberto Devereux will be a really intimate performance for the audience," says King. "In this format, you'll really feel the emotions Donizetti has woven so brilliantly in his music."