Posted in chorus, opera

Command Performance

Frank likes being an extra for the opera. They call them ‘supers’ in this realm. Weeks ago, he received an email telling him that he was accepted as a super for the upcoming opera, “Maria Stuarda” and that casting would be held tonight at the rehearsal hall. We packed up our things and headed into the city and arrived about a half hour early.

We quietly went into the hall, and sat in the seats for the chorus/supers while the principal singers were rehearsing. It was beautiful and powerful and moving, yet we were all alone. By this I mean that wouldn’t you expect there to be more than two people in the super seats by 6:15 if you are supposed to be there by 6:30?

Eventually, the opera manager- who knows who we are from my work- came over and asked what we were doing there. I blithely said I was there for a private concert, which he laughed and said, “That’s fine!”, but Frank told him he was there for casting. Hmmm…. seems we didn’t get the memo that casting was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Oh well, in the meantime, Frank and I got a private performance some people would give their right arm to have with Austrian soprano Gabriele Fontana singing the title role of Maria Stuarda. She has appeared in leading roles with the Bayrische Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and the Bregenz Festival and is in great demand in Europe for her interpretations of Leonora (Fidelio), the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer). Argentine soprano Fabiana Bravo makes her Baltimore Opera debut as Queen Elizabeth following impressive performances with Washington Summer Opera and Virginia Opera. Miss Bravo joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera and debuted at San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre. Tenor Gregory Kunde is regarded as one of the most elegant bel canto singers on the operatic stage, bringing impeccable phrasing and dramatic intensity to every role he undertakes. He has become a favorite among area bel canto fans for his performances as Arturo in I Puritani and Elvino in La Sonnambula.

Too cool, eh?

Posted in opera

Tosca


Just got home from the first Tosca rehearsal, what an awesome experience! 16 children from our chorus will be performing in this opera next week along with– FRANK!!

Yes, while hanging out at the rehearsal, the Baltimore Opera Company, http://www.baltimoreopera.com/ announced that they would like a few supers to help out and guess who jumped at the chance? Certainly not me! Even though Jenny doesn’t think I’m shy, I would have melted into a puddle of nerves if anyone had even hinted that I do anything that is not behind the scenes. I even had to beg the director of the chorus to PLEASE not have me stand for recognition during concerts… I just shake and quake at the thought. This is the VERY reason I pushed all my children to have no fear of speaking up and being in the limelight of life. (I may have done too good a job of that..lol)

It was a true experience to sit in that space and watch the Maestro create a visual masterpiece to go along with the auditory feast. The children were very well behaved and were so happy and excited to be there… and I must admit, all did very well with following the queues they were given.
I guess I need to order tickets now. I can’t let my husband walk across the stage in his priestly robes and not be there to witness it!!
In case you are interested:
Tosca By Giacomo Puccini May 5, 9, 11, 13, 2007
Sung in Italian with English surtitles A Baltimore Opera Company production.

“Your eyes cut through my heart like a knife.â€Â� –Baron Scarpia
“Actually, that is a knife.â€Â� –Floria Tosca

The opera takes palace during a 24 hour period in Rome in 1800 as at the city awaits the outcome of the battle between Napoleon’s army and the Austrians at Marengo. Puccini was fanatically accurate about the historic timeline, places and characters that he employed to serve as the backdrop for this fierce battle of wills. The sadistic Baron Scarpia’s obsession with the singer Floria Tosca and her lover’s protection of an escaped political prisoner collide in a spectacular psychological drama. The Baltimore Opera Company production is a re-creation of the actual locations that Puccini and Sardou chose for their opera. Strikingly similar to the sets that Puccini authorized for the premiere of the opera, the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Baron Scarpia’s apartments in the Farnese Palace and the roof of the Castel Sant’Angelo are all faithfully recreated as Puccini intended.
The Baltimore Opera Company is proud to welcome soprano Georgina Lukács in the title role. She has appeared in the title role in Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco , Vienna , Berlin , Hamburg operas. World renowned bass-baritone James Morris returns to the Lyric stage. A Baltimore native, Mr. Morris has electrified audiences with his powerful portrayals of Wotan, Scarpia, Don Giovanni and Mephistopheles. Italian tenor Antonello Palombi makes his BOC debut in the role of Cavaradossi. He has appeared in the role in Zurich and Frankfurt and is in great demand throughout Europe for his sensitive portrayals of the great romantic tenor roles. Maestro Andrea Licata who has brought his special expertise of the Italian repertoire to so many BOC productions, will conduct. Running time approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes. 5/5, 5/11 at 8:15pm, 5/9 at 7:30 pm, 5/13 at 3:00 pm