Saturday, December 22, 2012

Les Troyens

I saw Les Troyens at the Met last night! I had been rather intimidated by this five hour (and fifteen minutes) opera by Berlioz, but it turned out to be amazing.

The epic drama is basically two operas in one. The first two acts concern the end of the Trojan War and focus on Cassandra and her prophecies. The last three acts concern Aeneas and Dido in Carthage. The grand production included long segments of ballet that were gorgeous and interestingly choreographed (more like contemporary dance). And a very large chorus. The sets and lighting were beautiful and evocative.

I had tried to read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, but found it impossible to follow, however, I had no trouble during the actual opera, with the help of course of the Met titles. It was thoroughly engrossing. The music was lush, and the singing, particularly Susan Graham as Dido, was amazing. Other performers included the mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill as Dido's sister, who had a lovely, deep voice, Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, who carried the whole first and second acts, Dwayne Croft who sang Coroebus, beautifully in the first and second acts, and Marcello Giordani (who I've now seen in a number of roles) as Aeneas. Most of his performance was pretty good but not really charismatic, but he had one aria that was incredible. As I said, the stand out performance was Susan Graham. Stunning.

This was a real treat. Thank you Met Varis Weekend Ticket Lottery!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Outer Borough Opera

There's been a definite upgrade in the program since the last time Diana and I made it to the Metropolitan Opera's free outer borough concert.  Might be that the swank-i-fied Brooklyn Bridge Park has a higher profile than the projects in Red Hook, there about 100x more people in attendance.  And the program was much longer - at least 2 hours long.

We were thrilled that baritone John Del Carlo was one of the three performers.  We saw him in Barber of Seville and Tosca last year, he is a wonderful singer as well as a terrific comedic actor. 

The only down side was the weather.  It was well over 90 muggy degrees well after 10pm.  YUCK.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Metropolitan Opera Recital in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Last night, in 90 degree humidity, Meridita and I made the awkward trek to the lovely and tucked away Brooklyn Bridge Park to hear a Metropolitan Opera recital.

The singers were Danielle de Niese, Dimitri Pittas, and John Del Carlo.  They were all wonderful! In addition to having beautiful voices, they were all charismatic light-hearted performers, with a very welcoming and friendly stage presence.

The program was very full, about two hours long, with an intermission. The first act featured several arias and duets from Don Pasquale, as well as selections from Le Nozze di Figaro and La Boheme, among others. The second act was fabulous, but they changed the program from what's listed, and I can't remember what they performed.

The view behind the stage was beautiful. Right on the East River, we were treated to a stunning New York skyline. This picture of us was snapped by Pittas and posted on facebook. Meridita, Rachel and I are in there somewhere!