Photo by Carol Pratt
Bernstein and Gershwin with the NSO in the morning (gotta love those West Side Story dances!), and more Sondheim at night.
The range of patron responses to our little crossover experiment at The Barns is falling into four categories. 1) Love Sweeney and enjoyed the show; 2) Love Sweeney and hate what we’ve done with it; 3) Not fond of Sweeney but nevertheless captivated by our artists’ performances; and 4) No use for either the piece or our production.
None of this is surprising, but what is interesting is exactly who falls into which categories. There are musical theatre mavens who feel that we’ve done an injustice, but then there are those who think this “unplugged” Sweeney is one of the most powerful they’ve seen. There are longstanding and knowledgeable opera connoisseurs who surprise themselves by being drawn in by the power of this piece and the strength of these performances; conversely there are opera fans who feel betrayed by the presence of such a “fringe” work on our season calendar. It’s tempting to think that you can please everyone, but it’s not an option in the opera world, populated as it is by people with larger-than-life opinions.