Saturday, April 30, 2011

intermission . . .

And we're back -- fellow blogger Stacey Robinsmith has just pointed out a dress to me -- chiffon frills ruffling their way aruond a champagne-coloured skirt make a good match for some of the confections we just saw on stage.

But while many of the costumes are frothy confections, the music is considerably more substantial -- this is energetic, demanding music. Indeed, I find especially amusing that as Violetta assures Alfredo she's not the girl of his idealized, romanticized vision because she's simply an ordinary girl, the music she's singing emphasizes her heroic stature. I'd have to say that I prefer the bel canto of Norma, but I am awed by the vocal athleticism required of Violetta -- played by Erin Wall. Doug Tuck's program notes, "Opera in Real Time," suggest that Verdi's personal investment in the plot (his own unmarried partner was shunned and insulted by their fellow citizens for the supposed immorality of their relationship) may have resulted in the intimacy of this music. I wonder if I could speculate further that Verdi saw the heroism in his partner's commitment to him in the face of social approbation and wrote that heroism into her role.

Those chimes again . . . better rush back to my seat

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