Of course no wife would be spurred to murder her husband based on fortune cookie fortunes, but here it happens, and in exactly the kind of over-the-top manner that only opera can pull off. It was a joyous way to end the first half of the program.
"As a singer, as a professional, experienced singer, older colleague," Hampson advises young singers entering the profession, "I can only say that the industry you're in is not the industry I started in."
The term diva has been somewhat hijacked in 21st-century North America; "Mostly now, it means bad behaviour," Fleming admits. Still, the character of Roxane has qualities that are charmingly familiar to those in the opera industry. Her ease in high-profile social situations, her ability to articulate what she does and does not want, her general fearlessness - these are the qualities of people like Sondra Radvanovsky, Anna Netrebko, and of course, Fleming.
Thank goodness for one-act operas. They're like a shot of great espresso, or a single chocolate truffle - the kind of indulgence that's short-lived, but immediate and totally satisfying. Among all the lengthy, luxuriating opera we see - all the da capo arias and all the Wagner - compact one-acts like Actéon and Pygmalion allow even the most hardcore of opera fans to admit that their attention spans don't always like to be stretched so thin.
With no lines or a prescribed opening time the Summer HD Festival has been a welcoming presence since its inception. Entering off Broadway, people first encounter a table with volunteers from the Metropolitan Opera Guild, providing information about the Guild's programs and benefits of membership as well as complementary issues of its publication, Opera News.
I'll fess up: I'm a podcast addict. They're the morphine drip that gets me through the day. But I've only dabbled in shows that focus on classical voice, and that's a problem. As an antidote, I've found five series, with different focuses, that are worth checking out.
The four mainstage concerts of Esprit Orchestra's 2018/19 season happen at Toronto's Koerner Hall at 8pm. Pre-concert chats happen at 7:15pm, moderated by Alexina Louie. and New Wave Reprise goes up at Trinity St. Paul's Centre, with John Rea as keynote speaker.
The night, however, belonged to baritone James Westman and his standout performance of Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's father. Westman has considerable longevity with this role; he will play Germont for the 200th time in the spring of 2019 in a celebrated career that has spanned two decades.
HGO's triumphant return to this venue was replete with sheer authenticity of spirit, dedication, and craftsmanship from all quarters. Throughout this marathon performance, I was pleasantly touched by this production that treated the central narrative of redemption through love as something to be regarded passively, and not inhabited fully, to be believed, yet inviting scrutiny from all angles.
The setup for the Widow's entrance was hilarious, with all the men in the cast fussing over themselves and falling over each other to get to the door. The whole scene is an awkward, funny, madcap buildup to the heroine's entrance.