Monday, November 24, 2008

"To My Biggest Fan" Part I

With the grueling demands of Nutcracker "Hell Week" (more excuses later) it was impossible for me to be near a computer much less logging on and updating this lovely blog of mine. Plus, I'm currently suffering from something called [by medical professionals] "Star-struck Dementia."
By some miracle of nature a friend of a friend got us (meaning my aunts, my mom, and I) backstage after a mind-blowing Madama Butterfly to meet Patricia Racette. But I digress.
I should start being careful about what I say before performances. At dinner I accidentally said, "The only way this evening could be any more perfect is if Marcello Giordani magically appeared as Pinkerton, but since he's in Damnation that will never happen." WELL. Isn't it ironic... We get the usually dreaded slip of paper in the program, I instantly grab it from my aunt and INVOLUNTARILY give out a "YES!" I couldn't have had better luck. I will admit to being less than enthusiastic at the prospect of seeing Roberto Aronica based on what I had heard from others.Marcello looked like he never left the set! He was so natural (when is he not?) and of course his voice was clear and beautiful as it always is. Since he makes a career out of stepping in at the last moment I shouldn't be so surprised at his ease and style. =) Speaking of style: his perfect Italian style moves me to such great emotion that in my "Score Desk" binder I wrote "VIVA ITALIA!" I wish he'd sub in every time I go to the opera! Vivo Giordani.
Maria Zifchak returned to repeat her role as the loyal and heart-breaking Suzuki. Besides being blessed with a smooth and rich mezzo voice she also possesses sincere acting abilities that, at a few points, stole the scene. Most notably when during one scene Suzuki, overcome with the realization of the heartbreak her mistress is about to experience, buckles over in sobs outside of the little house. My eyes were drawn to her completely. Did you miss these performances? Don't fret, Ms. Zifchak will be playing Albine in Thais. Don't miss that!!!
Some supporting roles (not to mention the puppet) that caught my ear were David Won as Yamadori, Keith Miller as the Bonze, and Greg Fedderly as Goro.
My aunts both saw an undercurrent in Dwayne Croft's Sharpless that I never even considered before. They both said, "Do you think he was in love with Butterfly?" Talk about a whole new perspective. It's interesting to think about: Does he want Butterfly for himself? He never really chastises Pinkerton for leaving her and never tries to convince him to stay, does he? Regardless, it was a beautifully sung and acted Sharpless. Seeing his name in the playbill was very reassuring because he has delivered consistently fabulous performance from season to season.
Happy Listening!!! =)

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