We made it to the first performance this season of Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera. It will probably be the last opera we see live till the fall, and what a great way to end our Met year.
As those of you who have followed “idiots at the opera” know, the better-half and I are musical ignoramuses who came late to opera (but NEVER come late to the opera.) So don’t expect any fancy-dancy (or technically correct) descriptions of the music.
First, we were unfamiliar with the opera – musically, the story, the history, etc. But we mostly love Italian opera and we love Verdi. The main reason why we actually got tickets in advance and shelled out for good seats was because of the singers. I went to hear Dmitri Hvorostvsky – my favorite baritone, and tenor Piotr Beczala, who is so good that even when the production is misconceived (Atomic Faust, Rat Pack Rigoletto) or just plain drab (Eugene Onegin, Iolanta) he makes it worth going. He also seems to get character nuances that other “singing actors” miss – body language, posture, gestures etc. He never seems stiff on stage, and manages to differentiate his characters. As for Sondra Radvanovsky, I am such an ignoramus I hadn’t heard her before and had barely heard of her. What a complete treat it was to be introduced to her in role she seemed born to sing.