Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Lucia di Lammermoor, Los Angeles Opera

I went to see Lucia di Lammermoor on Sunday. It was OK. I find I don’t like bel canto operas very much. Not sure why. I also feel that they blew most of their budget to get Anna Netrebko, who is apparently the new “It” girl in the opera world, and had to use a bunch of pretty third-rate talent for the rest of the cast. Anna Netrebko was good, but she wasn’t amazing. It seems like she’s made more of just because she’s pretty. Her voice seemed kind of gritty when she had to sustain a high tessitura (is that the right word?), but when she only had to hit single high notes, they were quite lovely and full. She was the only one who acted too, even though it was kind of overblown, vaguely-Winona-Ryderish acting. One thing I learned is that crazy people move very quickly and like to lay on the floor a lot, particularly under furniture. So I guess that means that my uncle is crazy because he has the propensity, on holidays, to find large pieces of furniture to lie under and have a nap. I also think that Lucia wouldn't have gone so bat-shit crazy if that damned flautist would’ve stopped egging her on.

Kresimir Spicer, who I loved as the Narrator Guy in Il Combatimentio di Tancredi e Clorinda last year, was a good Arturo. Arturo is a very Hugh Bonneville role, which worked out nicely because Spicer looks a lot like Hugh Bonneville. The Raimondo guy was OK, but the character is kind of useless; he's like Signore Expositione. The Edgardo was awful; his voice was pinched, nasal, and worn-out, with that ghastly, chugging vibrato. His acting also consisted of the opera “Oh my god, what the fuck?” gesture, which is basically just a single fist clench, followed by a quick turn of the head to stare in horrified anger at the newly clenched fist. The guy who played Enrico looked like a hobbit. An EVIL hobbit.

The costumes were kind of all over the place too. The opening scene had a chorus of Zorros (with really cute Irish wolfhounds). Lucia’s costumes were OK, kind of era-less but pretty, but her wedding gown was almost Elizabethan. The men were dressed late-Victorian/early Edwardian, except for Normanno, who was kind of Henry Vish. The women were all kind of mid-19th century. I wish they would’ve just picked a fucking time period and stuck with it. Oh, and finally, when Arturo arrived to marry Lucia, the chorus did this extremely dorky drill-team routine to welcome him. WhatEVER. My mom said that the director did that as a “Scottish” touch, to which I replied, “If they wanted Scottish touches, they should’ve put all the men in kilts and had them play tennis with a blancmange.” She looked at me like I was crazy, so I had to explain almost an entire Monty Python episode to her. Sigh.

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