I found Alden's production be be a challenging one. I think that's the nature of this piece. The subject matter is very dark and though I appreciate that it didn't shy away from depicting the violence done to Lucia, I was left unsatisfied with the way it was handled.
Kevin Lau's reconstruction of a variety of extracts from Handel's vast catalog of compositions struck a tottering balance between showcasing one of the most celebrated composers of the classical repertoire in its original form — and enticing a modern audience with the experimental synth-tracks, glitches and contortions available to the digital soundscape.
"It is being in a position to help the next generation of artists. I am so energized to see the passion, drive, and commitment of our young musicians. It is a always a challenge to find effective, novel ways to propel them to a successful career. But it does not deter me from creating new projects towards that goal."
Ms. Karg reassured the audience that she had recently performed the two Debussy sets anchoring her program – for this year's centenary of his death – though never with pianist Simon Lepper (her usual collaborator, the eminent Gerold Huber, was booked). Ms. Karg and Mr. Lepper had never shared the stage before Tuesday night.
But I was completely captivated by Ferruccio Furlanetto's Fiesco. He was the aged, revenge-hungry villain whilst still being able to inspire pity. And though it was a voice approaching the end of a long career, he had such a commanding and assured presence on stage that one couldn't help but be carried along with him.
Although this iteration seems to be much more of a display of the the transformation of the score in particular, I did miss the theatricality of the original staging. I missed the solitary cells, the cold ambiance, the interrogations by the state.
The performance was something truly special and memorable. Last night, I understood what it must have been like to have heard the likes of Pavarotti, Milnes, Horne, and Sutherland. Just as those artists had defined the canonic Verdi roles for their generation, the cast of this Trovatore at LOC is poised to set a new standard for this repertoire.
This is Des Moines Metro Opera's second opera performed at Camp Dodge, and I hope it will not be the last. Aside from the physical location, the collaboration with the military community produces numerous benefits. The participation of veterans and active duty service members in the post-show panel discussion helped to bridge the gap between theater and reality.
It is a piece that could have been so unabashedly English but instead it was a nationless, chilling cry of warning. It was a perverted mockery of the dangerous, power hungry nature of war. It was one long, beautiful moment of extended prayer.
The singers are works-in-excellent-progress, with the exception of Mr. Sy who is already "ready for the big time." Mr. Sy possesses an extraordinary tenor instrument that switches easily and constantly from forte to pianissimo, and from full voice to falsetto.