Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Night at the Opera....

I saw Sting and Elvis Costello last night at the Théâtre du Châtelet... in an opera! It was great, the acoustics were amazing!

This was truly a neophyte's introduction to opera via "Welcome to the Voice", written by Steve Nieve. Here's a blurb from Bill Flanagan at CBS News:

"Welcome To The Voice" is a new classical piece — oh, I might as well admit it, it's an opera with a libretto by the French writer Muriel Teodori and music by Steve Nieve, best known to the hoi polloi as the brilliant pianist in Elvis Costello & the Attractions. It's a piece about the clash between high culture and low, the upper class and the workers, and Nieve has very cleverly cast legit opera singers such as Barbara Bonney and Amanda Roocroft as the Sacred Voices, and rock singers like Costello and Sting as the Profane Voices. It's a conceit worthy of Bertold Brecht and it really works. Whether you come in through the front door of serious music or the servant's entrance of pop, "Welcome To The Voice" will make you feel welcome at the party.

The story line was was simple; high class vs. lower class. The above write-up describes it very well. Sting as Dionysos and Elvis Costello as the Police Commissioner. The sopranos were amazing... Sylvia Schwartz as Lily, Marie-Ange Todorovitch as The Ghost of Carmen, Sonya Yoncheva as The Ghost of Butterfly, and Anna Gabler as The Ghost of Norma. Sting's son, Joe Sumner, played Dionysos' friend. He looks and sounds just like his dad when he was younger!

I didn't know what to expect going in, but if you tell me Sting is playing anywhere, I'm there! I have always enjoyed opera in the movies; Philadelphia comes to mind, as does Moonstruck, however, not knowing the pieces, I never knew which direction to turn to for further listening. I have a short stack of CD's from my mom, but after a little while, I always lowered the volume or just changed the CD to something more familiar.

After hearing the sopranos in all their richness and volume, I would love to go see Madame Butterfly, or something similar. Any opera aficionados out there, please guide me! As my "date" said, "Once you get used to the fullness and quality of opera, it's like having tasted real chocolate... Hershey's just doesn't satisfy!"

Something I also need to do is go see more stage productions. The only real Broadway show I have ever seen was "Oh, Calcutta"... not much of a stretch for costume design there!

My thanks to Andy and Mollie for the heads up on the show (another Facebook tidbit!). I am hoping to write before I head to Denver on Monday. I've got to get into the Christmas spirit somehow! Maybe a little cold weather and mountains will help?

"You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause!"

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