Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life is good, yes?

Last weekend, I had the marvelous opportunity to see Rusalka for the first time.

I have loved this ancient story for many years and fell in love with it all over again when I heard Renee Fleming sing 'O Silver Moon' for the first time not long ago. I was a more than a bit curious to see if the MN Opera could pull off such a complex tale of longing and betrayal, but I was pleasantly surprised with the show.

The set design and costuming were fantastically creative using a gray, modern approach to the human world and explosion of color for the magical rusalki. A terrific way to separate the mysterious allure of the ocean depths with the blase world above. The SPCO played beautifully, although I found myself unable to delineate Dvorak's separation, musically, of the two worlds as I have while listening to the opera at home. Kelly Kaduce sang beautifully. Unfortunately, her emotion and lyrical ability fell far short of Fleming's masterful work. But, to come even close is an amazing talent. Brava to Kaduce for a lovely performance!

For now, I'm still turning over in my head what Jaroslav Kvapil might have been trying to say with the libretto. Was he telling us not to reach beyond our social strata in matters of love for fear of the devastating ripple effect that might tear the involved families apart? There are obvious similarities to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. But, honestly, I don't think this is the place to start getting too philosophical...what the heck do I know anyway? So I'll just shut up and let you listen to what I can easily call my own, personal, heaven on earth.

Renee Fleming, O Silver Moon

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