I have been lucky enough, in the last several days to actually see two New York operas. I admit that, yes, I feel a pang of guilt (well, it’s more of a slap) that I have so drastically stepped away from classical music and entered a different field of performance. But these two opera-going evenings shifted my attention and made me reconsider my disinterest in vocal acrobatics.
The first night was “Don Pasquale” at Amato Opera in the East Village. It was a really unique and quaint opera experience – the theater only housed about fifty or sixty patrons, and the stage was so miniscule it only fit about six people across. But Amato had such a vibe of love and tradition, being a family-run company held together by what must be generous support by its loyal patrons. The singing wasn’t terrible, in fact, the soprano was actually quite good. I was constantly amused at the bass playing Don Pasquale and his inability to remember words (which were then shot up at him by a fiery tongue below the stage). And who couldn’t love Mr. Amato, an aging artistic director who hobbled on stage and told the audience about upcoming productions, repeating “please try to come” after every beat.
Last night I attended a production of “Carmen” at the Metropolitan Opera and was blown away. Yes, we were about a mile from the stage and the figures looked like little singing ants, but the experience was fantastic. The soprano who sang the role of Michaela knocked my socks off! I think the best feature of the opera, however, were the “Met Titles” – little screens in front of each seat which scrolled through English translations of all the dialogue, rather than the traditional supertitles which most opera houses project over the stage. The Met Titles were so technologically advanced in fact, that you could only see what was on your own screen. It looked like all the other screens in the theater were blank! Technology + Opera = Excellent.
Two nights of opera-going have now left me aching to sing on stage. Good thing my UCB class is going to karaoke tomorrow. (Get ready guys!)