Sunday, June 21, 2009
I Tre Compagni.... by The Encompass New Opera Theatre
There was a notice, that photos could NOT be taken of the performance. I didn't disobey the rules, but I found this tiny one on the internet. I also met a man who did take photos, and he said he'll be posting them on Flickr, so I'll be looking for them.
This is the first opera I've ever been to. I'm certainly not qualified to judge a good opera from a bad opera, but of course I have my opinions. The theatre was small but very comfortable, not ornate but still posh. I would term it "intimate." The curtain was beautiful, red velvet, and above the stage the subtitles were projected, so you could always look up and read what the singers were saying. The audience was all older, dressed as I would expect in a range from dressy-ish to pretty casual. If the weather had been nicer, I think that dressier dress would have prevailed. These people were opera people, I do believe, from their reactions -- shouting "Bravo" and "Brava."
We had great seats - third row, smack dab in the center. I could swear that when Alyssa came on stage, she looked us straight in the eye. I hoped that wouldn't blow her concentration! It made the experience so much more impressive, though, to be so close and not to have someone else's head in my way.
I bought the libretto, in spite of knowing that there would be subtitles. The story is about three friends - I Tre Compagni, in Italian - who arrive at a feast in a town on Fat Tuesday. They each tell a story, and there is a big party going on. Alyssa, a dancer, played a part in making the festivities more festive; her first dance was as a contortionist in a belly dancer outfit, and man is she flexible!
The Opera had the usual turns and twists that you would expect from opera; do they always die in the end? The friends tell their stories, the lovers have a quarrel, the one friend goes off in search of death to kill him, the two men make death give them gold from the crypt, the three friends quarrel over the gold, the two men friends... wait, should I spoil the ending? I guess not, you never know when you'll want to see this opera!
I can say that it was very pleasant. It was entertaining. The singing wasn't the stereotype of some huge fat woman shrieking the whole night, and EVERYTHING was singing, although none of it stuck in my head; I didn't walk out of there humming the chorus to myself. The three lead singers did an excellent job, as far as I can tell.
And of course, the dancers were wonderful!