About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

"The Rape of Lucretia",

Botticelli-Death of Lucretia
Chamber Opera by Benjamin Britten as performed by the singers of Houston Grand Opera under the Direction of Arin Arbus" (freely after Peter Weiss) and the Conductor Rory MacDonald with Sets by Jean-Guy Lecat, costumes Anita Yavich and lightening by Michael James Clark. I just felt the plain The Rape Of Lucretia was not title enough :-) for such BIG :-) yet intimate, though moralizing opera, albeit set to often beautiful lyrical music with the occasional thundering passages played by just 14 musicians who are getting star status on the program, and well earned IMO!

HGO has outdone itself with this relatively unknown Britten piece.  With just 8 singers, everyone needs to be outstanding, there is no hiding among a crowd. And indeed they are. Very good! Certainly a piece that will catch your imagination, engage your ears, and leave you wanting to hear more of the rather sublime music.
Casting the male chorus with tenor Antony Dean Griffey
(as Peter Grimes, Lenny) was a stroke of genius. Griffey,well known for his deeply felt characters, was superb. Ably matched by the female chorus soprano Leah Crocetto.

The 6 protagonists were sung and acted by Ryan McKinny, warm bass bariton=Collatinus,

Joshua Hopkins, fullvoiced bariton=Junius,

Jacques Imbrailo, bariton=Tarquinius, and
Michelle DeYoung, dramatic mezzosoprano=Lucretia.
A well matched set of voices, with the ability of expressing the pains and joys imagined by the composer.
Judith Forst, mezzosoprano=Bianca and
Lauren Snouffer, lyrical soprano=Lucia and the only high voice in the opera, completed the small cast.

For me it was gratifying to see 2 Studio alumni (McKinny and Hopkins) and 1 current member (Snouffer) shine on stage. Holding their own against the more veteran singers.
And as it is often with Britten, we come away from it with our imagination fired up, and questions. Perhaps more so with Turn of the Screw, Peter Grimes than with The Rape of Lucretia.
But one thing, to me essential to better understand and enjoy his works, is the need to revisit his operas another time, maybe even several times!


Anonymous said...

Missing photos?

artandhockey said...

Yes,alas. As one is not permitted to take photos during the show, one has to turn to the ww net and sometimes the chosen photos go missing> But cher reader you too can google the anmes of the singers in question and bring up the photo I (tried to) use.