there was no pot of gold, I can assure you. Except of course, we saw a emotionally draining opera.
Driving towards KING ROGER by Karol Szymanowski with a libretto (in Polish) by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, a rainbow manifested itself at the horizon.
First a leg, blurrily colored, than deeper and higher and clearer till it spanned the area in a beautiful wide arch. We drove through it and when the road turned the rainbow vanished.
King Roger's music was a mix of thunderous sounds at times diminishing into wispily soft lyrical phases.
If you ask me exactly what it was about, I must admit being at sea.
Maybe the composer meant to show the eternal lure of a charismatic leader/rebel on the general populace?
If so Szymanowski seems to have eerily anticipated the rise of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco and their brethren who followed into this century.
But maybe he meant only the fight within oneself?
Whatever the cause the opera is thought provoking and, when presented as well as at Santa Fe, almost overwhelming.
HGO Studio Alum Evan Rogister conducted with sensitivity and verve this mixture of Wagnerian, Folkloric, Schoenbergian and other sounds.
Mariusz Kwiecien, Baritone presented King Roger as a tormented soul - theatrically as well as vocally. He sang in Polish as did all others. How well the others enunciated this tongue breaker language I cannot judge.. to me it all seemed well done, by Raymond Aceto as the archbishop, Laura Wilder as deaconess, Dennis Petersen as Edrisi and Erin Morley as Roxanna (she, too needed a bit more warm up time). William Burden as the Shepherd (the enigmatic leader) needed a few moments to warm up vocally, but then he sang with claritiy and strength.
Staging was simple, almost stark, but then that seems to have become the norm. Lush were the costumes of the archbishop, deaconess and the King's Mantle. The large chorus meshed beautifully and seemed like a Greek chorus. Some ballet action in the crowd's arousal scenes were tastefully danced.
A fitting end to an eventful day 2.
Which saw us at the fairly new (2005) Balloon Museum of Albuquerque. A revelation of the history and excitement of hot air ballooning (pics will follow). Where, amazingly enough, women were accepted pioneers in balloning in earlier centuries, but men did the circumnavigating of the globe in long distance pods much later in this 20th century.
And the afternoon before, spent at the Museum of Nuclear Science (previously known as Atomic Science) and the outdoor park with its old and newer planes.
So, seeing this magnificent complete and beautifully colored rainbow, was just the icing on the cake...:-)!