Two unrelated slightly fatigue-laced observations on this closing night of a production that encompassed lots of personal bests and 4 enthusiastic sold-out houses.
First, a nomenclature dilemma.
There has been a refreshing sense of immediacy and connection with the stage throughout this whole run, and it’s another reminder of how opera in a human-sized space is essentially different than opera in a Big House. Facial expressions can be read from every seat in of the house, the dynamic range available to the performers seems limitless, and the exchange of emotional energy from house to stage and back is palpable.
So what do we call this thing? How do we tell people about it? “Chamber Opera” is a pretty silly and probably harmful term in the 21st century. The word “opera” itself is enough of a stumbling block for plenty of people. Putting “chamber” in front of it can hardly help. It charms newcomers, entrances aficionados and inspires artists. It should have a better name, don’t you think?
This sentiment has been echoed again and again this week by the artists in this company and across our industry. In a week that has been so full of hatred and tragedy, our musicians articulate again and again how thankful they are that their work is designed to lift spirits and create things of beauty. We’re happy to be a little part of that.
Now, time for sleep. Arrivederci, Figaro
Suggested term: Joy. Entertainment!
Wednesday, I sat there all during the performance with a smile.