Friday, May 23, 2014

My "Night At The Opera."

 So, MY theatrical experience was elevated last night at the Sottile Theatre downtown.

My buddy received an invitation to the LAST dress rehearsal of the Spoleto Festival USA 2014 performance of Kat'a Kabanova.

This was even better than going to the first "real" performance during this year's Spoleto. I could be relaxed in khakis and an open-collar shirt. And break out my camera.

I'll start at the end so you can see the show involved a very large cast.

Here they are taking a final curtain bow at the end of the last rehearsal.

This is my first opera in years and this was sung in Czech.

A large screen overhead flashed the English translation, so we all were able to follow the libretto.

The lead of Katrina was sung by American soprano Betsy Horne (white dress).

It is her U.S. professional debut.

The role of her adulterous lover Boris was sung by tenor Rolando Sanz. The timid cuckold husband Tichon was played by tenor Dennis Petersen.

The manipulating mother-in-law Kabanicha was played by Jennifer Roderer.

Would hate to tangle with that battle-axe. Sheesh!
The meddlesome Mom-in-law is seen second from the right.

The spineless hubby is the short guy in a hat and dark overcoat. He is to the right of our hapless soiled heroine in white.

The story takes place in a small Russian village and people keep saying "let's run away to Moscow."

I have never been to Russia so can't comment on Moscow.

But I do plan a trip to Prague later this year to check out the Czech Republic for my first time.

One clever scene had all the doors pop open at once and people "outside" are being drenched.

Yes, real water is showering down and members of the cast have umbrellas and newspapers over their heads in the downpour.

I grew up here  in Charleston, going to what then was the Gloria Theater, and this was my first indoor rainstorm there.

During the curtain call, the two leading ladies caught hands and took a bow together.

On the left is Megan Marino who plays Varvara. She is a foundling in the household who provides a way for the lovers to meet on the sly.

The Spoleto Festival USA orchestra and the Westminster Choir were conducted by Anne Manson.

Her blond hair and baton could be seen in a spotlight, in the pit, leading the music and vocals for the show.

I am sure real opera lovers will leave with wildly different memories from this production than what I observed.

It was definitely a change-of-pace for me from music at the Pour House, Music Farm, Tin Roof, etc.

(Click on the photo for more details.)

On opening night there will be beer, wine and water for purchase. This last dress rehearsal event was dry.

Another change from how I usually enjoy a musical evening.

Enjoy opera responsibly.

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