For anyone who thought that Downton Abbey, with its plot lines divided between the gentry and their faithful (or not-so) servants was somehow unique, that particular tale, and lo its many variations, has been told in one form or another since Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais put quill to paper in 1778 with La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro.
We open in a war room that resembled nothing so much as a parking garage. Amneris’s boudoir was certainly recognizable as such but I’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint the location of the Triumphal Scene other than the inside of a large discothèque.
In spite of the fact that Rossini and his librettist Jacopo Ferretti removed all the magical elements from the story, therefore making it far easier to produce, there was more than enough enchantment in the singing, and intermittently in the production to enjoy.
You’d think after nearly 40 years of opera going I’d have seen almost everything.. .twice. Yet I found myself at LA Opera Tuesday night for a special presentation of George Frideric Handel’s Alcina which was my first live experience with one of his operas.
Remember that time you went to the opera and the whole evening was like magic? Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion probably ranks among my greatest nights in the theater and I’m finding the superlatives in my thesaurus inadequate to the task.