Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Rest of Yesterday

As usual, it has taken my brain a day to process yesterday's Lucia. Of course I have more to say, most of it in the "tattler" department. But first a little more about the production that was really cool.

In Lucia's first aria she sings about seeing a ghost in the fountain. The ghost is of a woman who was stabbed by her lover and either fell into or else he put her into the fountain.

Ok so rewind to the very beginning of the opera. During the overture two people came out (Dancers? Supers? Singers?) and acted that out - lovers meeting, quarreling, he stabs her, she collapses. Then they projected onto the scrim a film of a ghost woman dancing in flowing scarves. Later when Lucia sang the aria they projected it again and at one point they reached for each other. It was neat. I liked how they mixed the projection with the people.

Near the beginning of Act 3 the supers came out carrying a bloody Lucia on a pallet. Ah the life of a super, carrying a dead body. Been there, done that. I'm assuming it was a premonition - it was just before she came out of the bedroom all bloodied for the mad scene. It was creepy too, because one pale bloodied arm was hanging off the pallet.

They cut the scene where Enrico goes to Edgardo's house and they agree to meet at the graveyard at dawn to fight. Without that it seems odd to have Enrico come home to the wedding party to find Lucia in such a state. Where had he been? Why did he leave the party? It's never explained. And then why is Edgardo in the graveyard later? That cut scene tells us why. But I have read elsewhere that that particular scene is often cut.

During the curtain call all the principals got flowers, which was nice.

Ok, tattle time.

1. Before the performance, in the lobby, I overheard one woman say to another in a very strong northern New Jersey accent, "When I found out this was about Scotland I was so happy!"
Hm, it doesn't seem funny now. Guess you had to be there.

2. During intermission I heard a man say to his companion, "What are all these Italians doing in Scotland?" I think (I hope!) he was joking...

3. On line for the ladies room I heard someone say, "This is kind of like a high school play." What??? I must assume that either I misheard, or else she was talking about something else, because there was nothing high-schoolish about the performance.

4. The man I was sitting next to after we moved to the center section hogged the armrest and sort of spilled over into my seat a little.

5. Same man - his wife gave him a hard candy during intermission. He threw the wrapper on the floor. What's with that?

6. Same man - talking about Lissette Oropesa - "I know she sang at the Met but it was just Susanna in Marriage. That's not a big role - she just comes on at the end." Uh, wrong. He must have had Susanna mixed up with... what's her name... the one who ends up with Cherubino ... Marcellina? Something like that. Thankfully his wife corrected him, because I was squirming in my seat in that way when you overhear someone confidently give wrong info and you're not really in a position to correct them.

7. Same man - He pulled out a camera and filmed the curtain call. That's odd, right? They didn't seem to know anyone in the cast...

8. There were two little girls behind us. One of them was the daughter of I think the conductor. I think the other was her friend. They were about 9 years old. After the performance we were walking behind them up the aisle. The friend said, "Why do they repeat everything over and over? It took him so long to die. Why didn't he just do it, instead of singing about it again and again?" Of course that drew chuckles from everyone and several people explained that it's not an opera if it doesn't take the hero 20 minutes to die, and that if there were no repetition the entire opera would be 15 minutes long. I asked her if she is able to understand when several people talk at once. She said no. Then I asked her how she liked it when several people sang different things at the same time. She said that when they all sang different things at once it was "very harmonious." I said that often, first they each do their own section a few times before all joining in together, and that way you can hear and understand it all. Repetition. It's not just the key to comedy. It's also the key to opera.

9. Tattling on myself. My shoes had this sort of stretchy part basically holding them together. They're old enough that I guess the stretchy part has lost some of its stretchiness. Every time I stood up, and every step I took, if my foot wasn't exactly over the center of the shoe, the stretchy part failed to keep it in place and I sort of fell off it. My foot fell off the shoe and I'd stumble. People probably thought I was drunk.

That's all I can remember. No doubt the moment I hit "publish post" some more tidbits will pop into my head.

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