"I've been singing from the time I was three. Singing has always been a great comfort. As a child I had a wild imagination and I was always creating little scenes. If I was playing with leaves, I would make pathways and roads."
If we look too closely with our 21st-century lens, Montezuma could be seen as problematic. Why champion the Spanish, when their colonialism was so vicious?
The program's narrative is constructed from carefully monitored, highly produced confessionals. Applause signs and sensational graphics provoke tailored reactions from the studio audience, which itself seems on the show's payroll.
In her program note, McIntyre wrote that Don Giovanni is an opera "replete with grey areas, starting with Giovanni's own moral ambiguity." But in reality, the libretto couldn't be clearer, from the violent rape in the very opening scene to his refusal to repent in the grim finale.
It was very much a young person's opera and was therefore theatrical in a way that is rarely seen in large scale opera productions. Though it is meant for a younger crowd, it wasn't overly simplified or polite. It was gritty, honest, and unapologetic.
If anyone doubted the longevity of Opera Atelier's plans to commission new works, they've been quick to prove themselves. It makes me more curious to hear their mainstage season, knowing that the company has more than one baroque trick up their sleeve.
Accompanied by a chamber orchestra seated on stage, the show had all the grand, theatrical trappings of opera, sized down into a portable, affordable package.
Director Arin Arbus returns to re-mount her production of La traviata from LOC's 2013-14 season. Conductor Michael Christie, making his own LOC debut with this run, brings his expertise in new music to bear on this classic score, leading the LOC orchestra with urgency and dramatic sensitivity.
The POV chorus deserves a huge shoutout for this production, the chorus numbers were incredibly precise, blended perfectly, and the choreography in the large number of dance routines they were given was brilliant.
While The Elixir of Love is a comedic masterpiece, Donizetti's music ranges from brilliant and bubbly to languid and lush. The orchestra, led by David Agler, showcased this mercurial ambiance with clarity and nuance.