At the same time, the limited set design accentuates the quality of the music to tell the story of La bohème, from the virtuosic one-man orchestra in pianist David Eliakis, to the cast. And in a smaller space, the story becomes even more intimate and heart-wrenching.
While his vocal brilliance was not at all a surprise, Lawrence Brownlee's spirited stage antics were a consistent delight throughout the evening. Known for virtuosically ornamenting the already-florid lines of his bel canto repertoire, Brownlee seemed to be playing it safe on Saturday night, despite sounding in fantastic voice.
"The one thing she said that never left me was the virgin-shaming. She said that maybe if I had sex or got a boyfriend, that it would relax me and make me a better singer. These insinuations or outright comments went on for the three years I studied with her."
This, combined with a note-complete love duet, was enough for the production to justify the bells and whistles of its carnival pre-show, and I found myself not wanting for Pagliacci's much-beloved double-bill partner Cavalleria rusticana.
Perhaps the question to ask is, why do so many young singers put up with it? I would urge my colleagues to put aside the undying loyalty to the artistic dream for a moment and speak up against unfair working conditions of any kind.
"It's sad to say that I feel lucky that this is the worst thing that has happened to me in this business. I wish I had done more at the time."
"Later that day, he sent me an email, in which he again referenced my 'innocence and negativity', and once again attempted to coerce me to meet with him alone at his home. I responded to this email with a reply, in which I clearly laid out my boundaries, and made requests for the parameters of our professional relationship going forward."
"Even the idea of tempo should be very flexible depending on the meaning of the words. Sometimes, even if we don't have a change of tempo written in the score, we should understand when it is necessary to move the musical line forward."
The plot thickens when we consider that Zerlina nearly left Masetto for a tryst with the Don, and pouted her way out of getting caught by basically daring Masetto to spank her for being bad. This current aria can be taken as genuine love from Zerlina, or it can be a gross display of emasculation, the operatic equivalent of saying, "Aw, did Masetto get a boo-boo?"
Lyric sopranos fall easily in love with the music that Puccini writes for Mimì. As you work with your teacher on this aria, we can help you stay on track.