The Opera Came to Town (?)

February 9

The Minnesota Opera Company, in Alexandria, with the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra, who’da thunk?

 

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[My view of the festivities from my seat.  Once planted, with a plate of hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine in front of me, I tend not to move around much . . . ]

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[Various members of the Opera Company were in town, off and on during the week, making presentations at several of our schools . . .

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[Thanks again to Mahrie Ouray and the Garden Bar on 6th for hosting this event . . . ]

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[No assembly required . . . ]

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February 10

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[Conductor Brad and the opera cast with “Conductor’s Notes” prior to commencement.]

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[To be honest, I would not consider myself an opera fan.  But I appreciate the abilities and skills of these performers.  It’s too bad that the crowd may not have been what was expected, but again we were having a foul weather day.  They missed these marvelous singers performing “unplugged” . . . ]

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[To clear the stage for the opera cast, we stuck our orchestra in a hole in the stage.  I thought they performed admirably insync with the opera singers.  OK, I do admit I used to enjoy Tony Randall hosting “Live from the Met.”  Randall noted that he became an avid opera fan when he discovered the genre was . . . well, the polite word would be “naughty.”  For example, La Traviata was first performed in England on 24 May 1856 in Italian at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, where it was considered morally questionable, and “the heads of the Church did their best to put an injunction upon performance; the Queen refrained from visiting the theatre during the performances, though the music, words and all, were not unheard at the palace.”  It was first performed in the United States by the Max Maretzek Italian Opera Company on 3 December 1856 in Italian at the Academy of Music in New York.  George Templeton Strong noted in his diary: “People say the plot’s immoral, but I don’t see that it’s so much worse than many others, not to speak of “Don Giovanni,” which as put on the stage is little but rampant lechery,” while the “Evening Post” critic wrote: “Those who have quietly sat through the glaring improprieties of “Don Giovanni” will hardly blush or frown at anything in “La Traviata” (Wikipedia).]

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Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.  ~  Robert Benchley

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