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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's talk about opera

THIS JUST IN OPERA/FILM SERIES AT UPPER ARLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY: Sundays, 3 PM JUNE 3 Salome JUNE 24 La fille du regiment JULY 22 La traviata AUG 19 MADAMA BUTTERFLY
I hope a lot of folks will come here to talk about opwra: News, opinions, gossip, the works. Hearhear was kind enough to make this suggestion. HH also makes several wonderful points about the impact of the Met's HD series on local opera companies. The familiar mantra is , "Yes, but nothing beats a live performance seen in the theater." True. Best seats at he Met average $400.00. I grew up in standing room. $2 in my day. I loved it all. I may be too old to stand now, and I don't have $400. The HDs give me a perspective better than I was used to, but what we see in the cinema is not the same as what is seen (and heard!) in the opera house. What we see is largely up to the cameras and director. Still, I've often been impressed by reading the faces of the singers (especially the chorus) and noting their involvement in the drama. No faking that I could see. Especially in the Macbeth several seasons ago, with Maria Guleghina and Zeljko Lucic. A lot was done with the eyes. Does it hurt local opera?Maybe. It implies a false standard in that no regional company can compete with the Met'sopulene at its best. The public gets spoiled (I am) But if the Met is well experienced in HD, local opera gives a real sense of community that HD doesn't provide. People alive, together in one room, watching often young and spirited artists. The scenery may be sparse and the orchestra may be small, but again, I go to opera for commitment, the synthesis of words and music. Opera as theater. I want to laugh and cry at Marriage of Figaro, and be frightened at Scarpia's entrance. (TheMet's HD Tosca--awful. Scarpia dry humping statues of the Virgin Mary. Nuts) Let's find away to use the Met's HD presentations to stimulate audiences for local opera, rather than accepting to easily that the gawe is up for community-based performances. What do you
think?

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