inaugural production of Idomeneo, I'd be completely opera-ed out. But Nay! In-fact I am strangely energized and looking forward to and for future operatic adventures... or ventures as is the case with OperaHub.
The only bad thing in all of this is that the two happened in the same week so my BEMF 2007 experience was rather limited (Fantastic! -but limited)
Idomeneo went off marvelously. Not without flaws, mind you. However, for an inaugural production on relatively few rehearsals with a mesh of pros and amateurs... it was really quite something. We 'sold out' (tickets were free) both nights, and people actually came and filled all but maybe 5 seats each night, and we were turning people away initially. (crazy!)Sometimes having so many people so close to the action caused a bit of a traffic jam in getting in to places, but that was something we could only find out by doing. The musical aspect was really quite good and got better by Saturday - we had some Doppler-esque issues on Friday, but they seemed to have resolved themselves by Saturday. Thank goodness for good ears and self motivation! The leads were pretty amazing in their own right - my stand out favorite was Elettra (Natalie Polito)- the girl is going places.
In stark contrast to the chicken wire, 4x4, white sheets, 'bloody' t-shirts, and blue war paint of the OperaHub production (on a $2200 budget) was the BEMF production of Lully's Psyche; in which any chicken wire (if it was used) was well covered under layers of silks, chiffons, rhinestones and satins...etc etc - all the opulence one would expect from a fully staged Baroque opera on a $2 million dollar budget... not exactly shoe string eh?
The evening began with me running around picking up my dress from the dry-cleaner's ~ 10 minutes before I had to get in my car and go downtown - but that all worked out and I ended up having a bit of time to breathe as I waited for rogairedubh
and K*r*n of VIINaCl fame to arrive from their own fringe concert (and a brief pint at the 7s). And I just have to say, people in Boston really are very nice, if you give them the chance. I stood there in the middle of the common, swathed in my black satin gown, all done up and very obviously waiting for someone. People kept stopping, even pausing cell phone conversations, to tell me how nice I looked. =D Not a bad way to start the evening. AND rogairedubh
, knowing I had planned on the gown, even arrived in a tux! just to 'match' me. What a gentleman!
Now to the opera --- WOW - first and foremost - I have to get that out of the way. Louis XIV would have been fully approved. The costumes were positively sumptuous, the orchestra was fabulous, of course, the singers were wonderful (Carolyn Sampson (Psyche) is quickly becoming one of my favorite sopranos) and to top it all off - I actually knew some of those people! To include the first voice we heard: a certain T*ss W*k*m. Brava! It was agreed that the whole situation really quite suited her.
So - highlights: The little magic they did with Mirrors in changing Amour from his immortal form to his mortal form. Carolyn Sampson - just amazing, as I think I mentioned before. The two sisters at the beginning - great voices and so much fun to watch - they really brought in the comic aspect. Seat belts on the flying thrown... too funny. The Dancing Devils. Cute Cupid Girls (the children in this production were really quite talented). The Marital quarrel between Venus and Vulcan. Oh and the Cyclops - funny little fellas!
And 'The things that made you go hm...' Well part of this can be attributed to being up a bit high in the balcony - but the dangling serpent... seems he could have been a bit more menacing and less like a recently caught garden variety. Bored Trumpeters... though really someone should have warned them. The 'Boogie Board of Destiny' REALLY... with a $2mil budget, THAT's what you come up with to shuttle Psyche off to the River Styx? The set up of the program could have made it a little easier to figure out who was who. In most cases I was able to sort it out based on my fascination with Greek/Roman myth at age 10, but an 'in order of appearance' would have been good, if they were going to bother to list them all by scene anyway.
All in all though - I was thoroughly impressed and even after 3+ hours pressed against the netting of my dress, I was sad it came to an end.
2009 is so far away... At least there won't be opera going on at the same time. I talked with the OperaHub folks and that won't be a conflict anymore... thank goodness.
Well - work beckons... Adieu..
One might think that after all the opera madness last week between BEMF and the