Musings on opera in NC and beyond

Archive for the ‘Opera Production’ Category

Drop All Lesser Pleasures

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"Drop all lesser pleasures..."

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin had never been performed in Alaska before last Saturday night. And who was conducting? Our own conductor far far from home, Timothy Myers! According to Mike Dunham of Alaska Daily News: “Non-singing counted for much here…notably the contribution of conductor Timothy Myers. Faced with a pared-down orchestra (nine violins total would be about half of the first violin section alone in any of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies), he compensated with masterful precision that paid attention to the composer’s melodies and ingenious deployment of instruments, getting especially crisp work from the winds. The distinct wind and harp voices supporting the letter writing scene came out with elegant clarity. The Anchorage Opera orchestra has seldom sounded this good. Should I ever find myself in a city where this man is directing another production or a concert, I’ll drop all lesser pleasures to attend.”

Let’s read that last line again: “Should I ever find myself in a city where this man is directing another production or a concert, I’ll drop all lesser pleasures to attend.”

Mike Dunham: Consider yourself invited to Raleigh!

Written by Darla

February 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

Posted in Myers, Opera Production

It’s Raining Hunky Opera Men in Seattle

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Thanks to an NCOpera reader for mentioning this article about Seattle Opera’s production of Bizet’s first opera, Les Pêcheurs de Perle (The Pearl Fishers). Well actually, the article is not on the production itself but on its buff tenor (William Burden shown above in the role of Nadir) and bass singer, Patrick Carfizzi (who as Nourabad displayed physical and vocal heft on stage), and how they bulked up to their hunky selves. Below is an excerpt from Excellence Health and Fitness club where they trained. If you want a detailing of their fitness program (in case you too want to be a buff opera tenor) go to the article directly.

“At the beginning of December two wonderful guys approached Elias Roberts, personal trainer at Excellence Health and Fitness. They were interested in changing their physiques because they would be on stage, with their shirts off, in front of 2,600 people….How can Elias influence these two guys to stay focused on their nutrition and consistent with their workouts in order to dramatically change their bodies in one months time?  Well, these two guys were determined to work as hard as possible….These two guys happened to be the stars of Seattle Opera’s “Pearl Fishers”.  William Burden, playing Nadir, the love struck lead, and Patrick Carfizzi playing Nourabad, the high priest….January 10th was opening night at McCaw Hall and the two men looked amazing with defined arms, chest, and abs.”

Who knew, fit opera singers!?!  Oxymoron?  Not anymore! While The Pearl Fishers is not on the same level as Bizet’s crown jewel, Carmen, it’s still has some beautiful arias and duets in addition to being set in an exotic location (Ceylon) and raining hunky men. Learn more about the Seattle production of The Pearl Fishers in this Seattle Times article.

Written by Darla

January 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

Opera to the People–Bravo!

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Jim shared this video link on NCOpera today and I just had to put it on the Home page — it is so so — well, es magnifico! On this grey January day, this has got to be the coolest place on the internet! Shot in a farmer’s market in Valencia last November, Verdi’s Traviata truly shows the power of beauty to lift the spirit. Just fabulous, fabulous! Make sure you watch the whole thing and in particular, look at the people’s reactions, their dancing, their spirits soaring!

Bravo! Bravo!

Written by Darla

January 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Music, Verdi

Dark-Haired, Tanned and Sweaty

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Bizet’s Carmen is next on the Met’s Live in HD schedule, airing this Saturday at 1 at both Brier Creek and North Hills theatres. It is sold out, BTW, but I have it that tickets are still available for the encore on Wednesday Feb 3. Don’t miss it because:

OMG, what an opera!!! Bizet was told he’d “frighten the audience away” with his sexy, irascible Carmen, but he never watered her down and stuck with his theme of sex, violence, racism and freedom. Now, Carmen is considered one of the most popular operas. Carmen, Carmen…now there’s a gal! Many adjectives have described her. Sex addict. Erotic. Superstitious (yes there are Tarot cards). Evil. Seductress. Death-obsessed. Suicide. Ruiner. Ultimately doomed.

And what a mezzo role! Some of the memorables who’ve played Carmen include Regina Resnik, Rise Stevens, Marilyn Horne and Teresa Berganza. Berganza singing with Placido Domingo in the Don Jose role is my personal fav. This time it’s Elina Garanca as the feisty Carmen. Elina is tall, lithe and beautiful and apparently lifts her skirts and splays her legs a lot: “a real man-eater full of sexual magnetism.” She also plays a mean tambourine.

Be a Carmen. Face death proudly. Find a ticket somewhere.

Written by Darla

January 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

Posted in Opera Production

Not One Extra Note

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Rigoletto…it’s the perfect opera for opera newbies. It’s easy to get Rigoletto. It has all the elements of great opera: amazing music; a compelling edge-of-seat story; great roles for soprano, mezzo-sops, tenors, baritone, bass and a chorus; cool sets and costumes. And not one extra note.

Opera in the Triangle finished strong in 2009 with Verdi’s Rigoletto performed in October by the Opera Company of North Carolina. Music lovers and opera aficionados had no trouble dubbing it a masterpiece. Read one review here.

Written by Darla

November 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm