Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Night At The Opera...

Well, technically it was a night out for the choir at Bluewater's Showcase Cinema. However, the "film" we went to see was actually a live satellite broadcast of the New York Met Opera's performance of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda.

Leutgeb had suggested and then organised the trip. Annie Elizabeth volunteered to act as driver for anyone who wished to leave the car at home (like me!). His Hermeneuticalness led the hissing (for Elizabeth and Cecil) and the applause (for Mary Stuart) and, later on, Zephyrinus charmed one of the waitresses at Café Rouge with his knowledge of Hungarian (I think it was Hungarian, but he speaks so many languages it's hard to tell...)

It was a wonderful performance. It was my first experience of the bel canto style, and I found it very powerful. I did wonder what it must have been like for the two sopranos when they were belting out their lines cheek-to-cheek! I was also rather amused to note that a contentious line in the opera (which Italian censors at the time had found objectionable - I think it was the bit where Mary calls Elizabeth a "vile bastard") was sung, but not subtitled. You can read the New York Times' review here.

During the interval (I did point out that it was a live broadcast) there were interviews with the main characters, which provided a fascinating insight into the roles. Joshua Hopkins (Cecil) tried to defend his character's behaviour, saying that he just wanted what was best for England. That cut no ice with us - he was definitely the villain of the piece.

Fantastic sets, wonderful costumes, brilliant acting and superb music. I can't wait for the next choir outing!


Idle Rambler (Cindy) said...

It was also broadcast on Radio 3. We were listening to some of it at home.

Fr Michael Brown said...

I was watching it in Newcastle! V enjoyable. Loved the confession scene.

Londiniensis said...

The line in question is "bastard daughter of a tyrant".

A bit amused that the Met sought to censor this - the colonials seem to have more reverence for Good Queen Bess and Bluff King Hal than the vast majority of Englishmen. Bless.

Zephyrinus said...

An excellent Post, Mac, on this magnificent
Production by the New York Met.

Superb performances by all the leading Players,
particularly Elizabeth and Mary Stuart.

What a wonderful evening !!!

Thanks to Leutgeb for enabling such a lovely evening.

Nan said...

I'm told that if it sounds unlike any laungusge you've ever heard before, it's Hungarian.

Zephyrinus said...


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