Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Opera in St. Louis

I'm in St. Louis for the closest thing I have to an annual ritual: experiencing opera at the Opera Theater of St. Louis. Members of the St. Louis Symphony hang out in the pit as one of their pre-approved summer activities, and the quality of the vocalists is excellent.

Today was La Boheme by Puccini. Like all productions from the Opera Theater, this was translated into English. I'm sure that annoys the purists, but opera in the vernacular is much more accessible to a wider audience, which means that it was very well attended. Not even as many gray-hairs as previous years. Sure, they're still the vast majority of the patrons, but there's a few that have dyed to jet black or carrot red.

Radolfo looked like George Clooney, but wasn't as good as projecting as Marcello, so some of their duets were compromised. I could have used more attitude from Musetta and Mimi reminded me of Vanessa Williams circa 2006. On the whole, very pleasant. They really cooked along and got done inside of 2.5 hours. Boheme isn't exactly epic on length, but with even with two intermissions...

Next week, "Salome" by Strauss and "Ghosts of Versailles" by John Corigliano. Should be fun.

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