Margaret and I went to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this evening for the LA Opera performance of Verdi’s Don Carlo. We got main orchestra tickets for an amazing $20 apiece (student rush!). My only previous experiences with live opera have been unmemorable ones — unless you count a rendition of Aida so pitifully weak we left at intermission, which was memorable but not in a way I hope to repeat — so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Don Carlo.
It was marvelous.
The performers sang beautifully, the orchestra was just right, and the set design and costumes were fabulously appropriate and interesting. Having read recently about New York’s Metropolitan Opera’s attempts to make opera fresh and exciting to a new generation of attendees, I was curious to see whether the LA Opera’s production would feel staid to me. It didn’t in the least. The set, though modern, retained enough of a classical bent that it wasn’t jarring (photo of a particularly chilling scene here [original link broken, but pics here]), and the costuming was the same way: the silhouettes were true to the period (as far as I know), but the color scheme kept the clothing from looking dated. The costume designer made very clever use of texture and sheen to distinguish between characters in what was essentially an all-black palette (at intermission I heard a woman behind me ask her companion, in all seriousness: “Did people in sixteenth-century Spain really wear only black?”). And as for the singers, they were just incredibly lovely. I had a wonderful time, and I am so glad I went, even though I have a long day coming up tomorrow!
Some photos of Margaret that I took before the show follow. Isn’t she lovely!
I’m now sold on live opera and can’t wait for the next production to begin so I can go see it. I wish three and a half hours would go by so enjoyably when I am in class!
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]