|Sent on:||Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:08 PM|
Hi, all: I was able to see the dress rehearsal of these operas in Tucson Thursday night. I was blown away by how well they are staged and sung. The sets are spectacular, reminding of Roman ruins in Sicily, and figure prominently in both operas. The director has set both operas in the 1930s, in the time of Mussolini, and the concept works beautifully. And she has done some wonderful subtle things during both operas that will add to everyone's enjoyment of the productions.
CAV and PAG are two one-act operas which have been virtually inseparable for over 100 years. It is "real" opera at its best: great music, dramatic scenes, real-life stories. And AZ Opera has some of the best singers in a long time making up the cast: Allan Glassman (most recently seen as Otello) as Canio, the tragic PAGLIACCI clown; Kelly Kaduce as Nedda, making her AZ Opera debut, but whom I have seen in Santa Fe, St. Louis, and Denver--a fabulous singer; Lori Phillips as a tortured and impassioned Santuzza in CAVALLERIA; Todd Thomas as the "bad" guy in both operas. The singing is great, and I LOVED these operas, even though I have seen them many times before.
If you haven't already decided to go, why not plan to join us next Saturday, October 8? Good tickets are still available; we meet over at Five Guys for burgers (and no bill-paying pressure) for food before the opera, and then go up to venerable Durant's for drinks and conversation after. And I am even doing the official pre-opera lecture in Symphony Hall one hour before the performance.
There's not a better "first opera(s)" choice than CAV and PAG. Join us!!!!