In Puccini's anodyne libretto however, des Grieux and Manon become unwitting martyrs. Des Grieux's self-pity is sublimated into hopeless romanticism too pure for a cruel world. Manon, mercurial and unparsable in the novella, is given a clearly defined voice and a straight-forward moral compass.
In general, tempos throughout the performance were sluggish, particularly in the first act. The love duet plodded along and the Te Deum was agonizingly slow, as was Mario's third act aria "e lucevan le stelle."
With all these different uses of the one dramatic tool, the creative team certainly believed in the effectiveness of the medium. I think it could have been trimmed a bit, because it distracted from the artists on stage.
"Several years ago I was cast in a production opposite a tenor I had briefly dated. After the breakup he had harassed me and my friends, so I was dreading seeing him, but figured that as he was cast as Basilio, we wouldn't have too many scenes together."
"It is my sincere hope that men in the opera industry and in general will read stories like this and gain a deeper understanding of what real consent looks like."
Ivany told me that there are always audience members at these performances for whom opera is a new experience, and I think bringing opera to new audiences in this manner is a fantastic idea.
"Luisa is a character totally surrounded by men who, in that time, control her life. But her father speaks up for her. This makes me think, 'Bravo, Giuseppe! You are speaking about important things for your time.'"
"To sing professionally brings with it a responsibility to create a parallel world for people to get lost in when every day life needs something else, or to provide people with an outlet for their emotions, sometimes even when they don't realise they need one!"
Two cities, and plenty to catch this fall. As you're marking your calendars, we've got a short list of must-see items - from bel canto to world premieres - based out of Boston and Toronto.
"A well-known older male singer in the cast, with whom I had never spoken, walked past me. As he did, he placed the flat of his hand on the small of my back, just above my bum. I was taken aback that a professional singer, who I thought was an amazing musician, would randomly touch me in such an intimate way, a young woman he had never met."