Aug 20, 2018

I got to see another opera

Last Friday we had tickets for the performance of Carmen here in Kelowna.  We saw it last November in Mazatlan, you can read about that here.  I called that performance magical, not so much the one we just saw.  Opera has changed, now they are modernizing the performance, perhaps to entice more ticket buyers.  The first time I saw Carmen I was a child and my mother was in the chorus.  It was a huge set with lovely costumes.  I have lost track of how many times I have seen this particular opera but my favorite was the first time and the performance I saw at the Met in New York, over 22 years ago.  The sets and costumes in Mazatlan were superior to this production although the cast were better here.

The change of guard with the children’s chorus running past.  They were dressed in black and greys and wore toques and scarves.  The guards were merely wearing regular dress pants with a camouflage shirt.  The corporals ( Don Jose ) were wearing the full camouflage outfit.

A very modern Carmen in leather with a pink bustier.  I have yet to figure why there is a line of laundry outside the cigarette factory.

I needed that expensive $8.00 glass of wine at intermission.

The smuggler’s mountain hideaway which looked like steps that a children’s choir would stand on to perform.  Micaela on the left and Don Jose on the right.  Al the voices including the chorus were great, thank goodness.

Heading into the bullfight.

Of course we know that Carmen hangs back as she needs to meet Don Jose.   In the end he kills her, usually with a knife.  But in this performance he strangles her and we watch her shuddering as the breathe leaves her body and she finally falls to the ground.  It was a horrific death.

Opera Kelowna is only a few years old and they are doing a great job.  They only do one fully staged and orchestrated performance per year, the rest of the time there are small concerts in the park, in the vineyard and under the stars and a few theater galas.

I did not enjoy this performance of Carmen, however the music as always stirs me.  I will go back next August to see their production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.   Can’t help it, I love opera.  So if I have to close my eyes and just listen to the music, so be it.

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8 responses so far

8 Responses to “I got to see another opera”

  1. Bob McLean says:

    I’m never overly keen when opera companies decide to ‘modernise’ (read, butcher) classic productions. I saw a version of Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera when we were living there, and although the performance was stellar (Vienna State Opera!. Hello.) the stage and props were just….weird. Detracted from the whole thing. Good luck with Madame Butterfly. Who knows what they’d do to it.

  2. George Yates says:

    We are not really opera fans but do enjoy a comedy performance in a local theatre when we can find one. Actually going to Huron County Playhouse today for a matinee performance, “The Birds and the Bee’s”

  3. Rae says:

    Lovely to have a friend who is an opera fan as well.

    Carmen is one of my least favourite (the book is so much better) and this production definitely looked appalling!

    Madama Butterfly is my absolute favourite. Lucky you!

    • contessa says:

      But is is a year away! I really wish we have more happening in this town but what we get is better than nothing. I do get my symphonies in Mazatlan.

  4. Hannelore says:

    Dear Contessa,
    from one opera fan to another I am totally emerged in the music of opera.In Kamloops we had transmissions from the Met directly up until last winter season. The talk is because of low attendance it may not happen again. I am still hoping that it will happen.
    By the way you looked like a million dollars , very elegant.
    Classical music is my constant companion on most days.
    Today the smoke is not as heavy as on so many days before, thank heavens. We finally went walking today.
    Hi to Colin.
    Cheers, Hannelore.

    • Contessa says:

      Thank you for the compliment. I thought the blouse made me look ‘Carmenish’! I know how much you love classical music. I so hope that we can attend a few more symphonies in Mazatalan this winter if you come back.

      For your sake and many others I do hope that the live from the Met happens again. When I was growing up we used to sit and listen to each opera performance on Saturdays on the radio.

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