Friday, November 14, 2008

La Boheme Dress Rehersal

Thanks to the kind intervention of 2 friends, I made it through the chaotic process of getting into the Opera House last night for the final dress rehearsal of La Bohème, which opens Sunday. To me, it felt pretty much like a regular performance, except that the voices of the singers were sometimes lowered.

La Bohème is an opera cliche nowadays, but I confess that I always enjoy it. In fact, I start feeling weepy the moment Mimì enters & the love music sweeps into the garret. Fortunately it's not just me. An elderly lady next to me sniffled all through the last scene.

Angela Gheorghiu is of course the main draw here, & she looks great & has a cute & sympathetic stage presence. Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo sounded ardent & youthful. I believe he generously gave us that high C at the end of Act I? Quinn Kelsey as Marcello seemed to produce his large, round sound with ease. He was my favorite singer of the evening.

I was very curious to hear what Nicola Luisotti, our in-coming music director, would do. He was very Italian, from his up-turned collar & white sweater draped over his shoulder, to his sweeping rubatos & big orchestral sound. He made a good first impression on me.

The dress rehearsal audience was more enthusiastic than most regular audiences. Anticipation was so high that they applauded when the lights came down, even before the conductor appeared. All the performers got enthusiastic ovations. This is an attractive production, & it looks like it's going to be a great show.

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