Opera is partly a sport of prestige, and to the untrained eye the line up of Opera Carolina’s production of Verdi’s “Il trovatore” promised much: An Italian tenor coming to international attention following a well publicized scandal, an up and coming soprano gathering exciting reviews for her Verdi roles, and a superstar mezzo-soprano of international caliber who has sung for dignitaries of state all over the globe. It is no surprise that the auditorium at the Belk Theater was well attended on the afternoon of October 23, a Sunday performance that would have otherwise suffered by the presence of the North Carolina Panthers playing at the stadium next door. Hell, I drove four hours to be there myself! Judging by the audience’s reception, a good time was had by most present, but the final tally on the performance is less encouraging: Opera Carolina’s “Il trovatore” joins the statistics of uneven performances of this testing opera, and though there were moments of beauty, the uneven cast threatened to drag the performance below the standards of good Verdi. And thus we will start with the least fortunate, and work our way up.
Monthly Archives: October 2011
Fresh from our recent trip to Salt Lake City, we are on the road again, and this time to Charlotte, North Carolina for Opera Carolina’s presentation of Verdi’s Il Trovatore. The southern company’s high profile line up, which includes the renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in the role of Azucena, is enough to get newoutpost to fill up the gas tank and embark in a good old pilgrimage.
Beethoven’s Fidelio opened the 2011-12 season at Utah Opera last week on Saturday 8th, and newoutpost was present at the occasion, as well as the second performance on Monday 10th. We are happy to report that the performances receive high marks due to the efforts of an altogether great cast, though the visual direction of these presentations proved a little suspect.
This Saturday October 8th, the Utah Opera company unveils its 33rd season with Beethoven’s one and only opera Fidelio. This unique work, a cornerstone in both Beethoven’s canon and Western music, is sufficient draw to make your friends at newoutpost.com take a weekend trip to beautiful Salt Lake City. The promising cast does not hurt either. Utah Opera’s line up includes Brenda Harris in the title role, Corey Bix as Florestan, Mark Schnaible as Pizarro, Gustav Andreassen as Rocco, Peter Tantsits as Jaquino and Shannon Kessler Dooley as Marzelline. Richard Buckley conducts. As we pack our essentials before heading to the airport in a couple of hours, we thought it wise to gather a few thoughts on Fidelio.