A Night at the Opera - five of them, actually

I’m writing this from Champaign, IL where our flight from Santa Fe is taking on more gas and waiting for a huge storm front to pass through Chicago.  Though, after looking at Weather.com, I’m not sure we will be getting out of here any time soon.  I’m in no rush, but pity the many passengers who are (or were) making overseas connections out of O’Hare.  Pass the time by reading Salamon Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence and working on cross-stitch and writing a blog entry.

Five operas in five nights…too good an opportunity to miss.  In 2011, Ed and I made our first visit to the Santa Fe Opera.  I fell head over heels in love with the quality of the productions, the facility and Santa Fe is a city we both enjoy.  Two weeks during their month and a half season, they run all five opera in their repertoire on consecutive nights – so you can do it all in a week.  My cousins, Mervin and Reade White-Spunner from Mobile, AL are also opera fans, so we rented a house together.  They took a more conservative route with three operas during the week.


Opera I – Tosca.  Magnificent!  Huge voices for Scarpia and Tosca, and Cavaradossa was a great tenor.  Interesting staging, with the main stage as the huge unfinished painting, so everyone was walking over it throughout Act I.  While others were outraged at the untraditional staging, it did not detract from a sterling performance.

Opera 2 – The Pearl Fishers -  George Bizet.  Not Bizet’s best, but a lovely opera, even though no one dies. 

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Opera 3 - Rossini - Maometto II.   Excellent, rarely produced opera.  Scenes of war enhanced by live thunder storm.  Most everybody dies at the end of this one.

Opera 4 - King Roger - Szymanowski.  Rarely performed and who knows why?  Etherial combination of choral, orchestra and individual performers.  Surely should be on more opera calendars as it represents a “modern” opera that is inoffensive to traditional ears.

Opera 5 - Arabella - R. Strauss – All costumes and settings in tones of gray and beige.  And the opera itself was gray and beige – beautiful music, but a snoozer.  Again, no one dies.

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