Friday, August 2, 2013

The Barber of Seville

I felt I'd had a good influence when traveling with my daughters and being aware they are as uninterested in TV as I am (in  one place we stayed for three nights there were two large screen TVs -bedroom and sitting room -and I was the only one curious enough to see if I could get some news. Otherwise they were not on.   Also we are all three very content to spend the last couple of hours  at night reading. 

BUT I have failed in that my daughters are not interested in opera.  They like ballet and they like theatre but not opera. So I took Rachel to see what I think is the best comic opera ever written: The Barber of Seville - a reprise simulcast starting Joyce Dedonato and Juan Diego Flores.  (Sorry I don't remember the Figaro's name). It was delightful but I found myself putting myself in her place. Suddenly all the extensions of the arias, repeats, flourishes, seemed excessive and they went on and on -- which those of us who love it actually love.The acting was good (although I think Flores is more concerned with his image than the role). I admit he has a lovely tenor voice and was a well cast swain.  

Rachel agreed it had been a fun event, she enjoyed it.  But it didn't make an opera fan of her, I suppose nothing will. Ah, well.... what can a mother do? I have in my memory a video I saw with Beverly Sills, in her young career, as Rosina, being utterly charming in a production with the funniest costumes I've ever seen in an opera. This did not live up to that, being in period costumes and with a busy set. However, I still think it's the perfect comic opera and Rossini's masterpiece.


Jonas said...

I happen to love most all creative endeavors. Homo sapiens, despite all its faults as a species, is astoundingly creative. I dearly love that creativity.

Opera is a unique experience. My parents, being actors themselves, dragged me along to witness all the great operas. The older I got, the better the operas became. Even so, I recognize opera doesn't move everyone (especially here in the States).

I had a unique experience in Lithuania. I was riding on a bus and overheard a spirited discussion regarding the merits of several opera tenors. That's not the sort of debate one would hear on an American bus. I just had to smile.

Witnessed a marvelous performance of Rigoletto at the Vilnius opera house later that week. That experience has stayed with me for decades.

Hard to beat Verdi or Puccini in my book but, hey, tastes vary.

Bev Sykes said...

I never became an opera fan tho Walt is and I was surrounded by opera singers for a decade of my life/ I like some opers (Tosca is my favorite) but am not fond or recitative. Love operetta an of course Bdwy musicals. I also find much worthy of watching on TV though admit most of what I watch would make you cringe.

We're all different in our cultural tastes.

June Calender said...

Thanks, Jonas, for stetching my understanding of Europe and reminding me that Lituania, and the Baltic countries, also have all the arts. One of my pleasuers in NYC was riding a bus up B'way from a Carnegie Hall after a concert and listening to fellow concert goers dissecting the performance.

Bev,there is so much music -- I think everyone responds to one kind or another. And our lives are richer for it.