I have to say that this was not the smoothest evening at the opera – indeed, I’ve had smoother ones. Not to complain or anything, because nothing, I repeat, nothing can ever take away from the joy of seeing Verdi’s Rigoletto live (especially with such great leads as Steven Powell, Bryan Hymel and Norah Amsellem), but if I had to name the evening, without much hesitation I would name it an evening of obstacles.When I approached the will call window to pick up my ticket, it turned out that there actually was nothing put away for me and my ticket was printed out while I was standing there. Thank God I remembered to bring the e-mail confirmation, otherwise, who knows what would have happened.
My seating for the evening was quite poor. Row C in the Dress Circle, my friends, which in the given theater is quite far from and quite high above the stage. Isn’t the company interested in the press to have a good view of the stage? On a second thought, maybe not. Sometimes the less you get to see the better it looks.
But of course, the biggest obstacle of the evening was served up by conductor Richard Buckley who let the orchestra play insanely loud and at an insanely fast tempo. Poor Bryan was not even heard in his Questa or quella, even though in his delivery of the piece he did focus on his sound much more than on his tone. Count Monterone sung by Matthew Trevino had an even smaller share of luck. His curse scene resembled an old silent movie with lots of action and articulation, but – no sound whatsoever. In short, Scene 1 was quite pitiful to watch and hear. Eventually, things did get better and all the three leads got plenty of opportunity to shine, of which you can read in my Bachtrack review if you click on the top review here.
And of course, both the scenery and the costumes were a wonderful fusion of tradition and taste. I think I find certain comfort in seeing some operas staged traditionally, and Rigoletto is definitely one of them. Sorry, folks, but I have a hard time getting convinced by Gilda blogging (or god forbid, tweeting) about her love for the Duke of Mantua or rather (Doug of Mantua, OH) or by Rigoletto making his living as a stand-up comedian. I have not seen this interpretation anywhere (well, at least not yet), but considering all the modernized Rigolettos that have popped up in the recent years, how far off can we be from a version like that?
And this, my friends, concludes my 2012-2013 reviewing season on Bachtrack. This season I have beaten my own reviewing record, having reviewed the total of 13 performances, which now makes me feel like I have earned a nice brain vacation, so I could open the next season rested, replenished and full of inspiration to embrace and reflect on more music. While I am not planning to review any events for Bachtrack this summer, it does not mean that Troy and I will stay away from the concert halls. Not at all! In fact, as of today there are two events that we are planning to attend and, depend upon it, my friends, you’ll be able to read all about them here, on Mandolin Vision.P.S. Contrary to the tradition of this blog, there are no sneak-pics of the show this time, my friends. I happened to be seated right next to a couple of important acquaintances from the opera world and, frankly, was embarrassed to sneak-flash my camera in front of them. Oh, and did I mention it was an evening of obstacles? LOL!