Amid performing arts circles, regardless of genre, it's almost too raw for someone who hasn't "made it" to discuss why they "failed". It's easy for us to digest wistful stories of bad producers or embarrassing live shows when they come from the super-famous, like the humbling anecdotes offered to fans by the Taylor Swifts and Lady Gagas of the world.
In Flight, the characters arrive at the airport one by one, en route to their various destinations, and bringing their various problems with them. As all flights are cancelled due to a huge storm, and the passengers are stranded in the airport, their problems come to the forefront and are highlighted by each character in turn.
The opera provides two alternative voices to reveal the complexities of du Pré's personhood; music written for the voice in a way reveals her public personality, along with hear-say gathered from relationships and journals, while music written for the cello presents a quieter inner voice, the private room of her spiritual thoughts.
Edward Nelson as the eponymous Barber was absolutely phenomenal. Commanding the stage from the moment he arrived, his rendition of "Largo al factotum" couldn’t have been better. Working the stage and the audience, he was absolutely charming, and even took the final verse at breakneck speed, all without missing a single note.
When I tell them I am a classical singer they generally know what it is. Sometimes they stare at me and say, "Wow, that’s crazy, you mean like Paul Potts?" And I'll say, “Yeah, something like that."
It is a timely repertoire choice, not only because of the plot's exploration of the Spaniards' conquering of the Aztec people, but because last year was the 500th anniversary of the conflict. Before the opera began, the Mexican consulate spoke giving historical context to the evening.
Whether as an artfully conceived full production, one taking place on the lip of a stage or a performance existing only in our ears and imagination, Wozzeck is a keeper.
"I fell in love right away for the voices, especially the low voices. I remember like it was yesterday: 'I want to become a baritone or a bass and I want to sing in big opera houses!' Little did I know that in very few years I’d begin studying and making my professional debut. This year I will actually celebrate my 20th year of career."
Clocking in at about 55 minutes, this bit-sized, child-friendly opera is perfect for a family outing. It’s outrageous, laugh-out-loud humour can be enjoyed by all ages. There is no doubt that Barry has created a masterpiece of modern opera. His frenetic, ambitious writing does not feel overly academic or unapproachable; there is a slightly wild and surprising nature to his music which immerses the listener into the world that McDonald has created onstage.
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly hardly needs any introduction, being one of the top 10 operas performed yearly in both the U.S. and Europe. The story of a young geisha jilted by a selfish, predatory American naval officer has gripped audiences since the first decade of the 20th-century, as has Puccini’s masterful score.