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07 Apr 2007

A bride on the market during the Baltimore Lyric

The latest providing through the Baltimore Lyric Opera ended up being Bedrich Smetana’s sparkling comedy Prodana Nevesta (“Bartered Bride”), only a little treasure of Czech intimate nationalism any particular one doesn’t see live often today.

The event not merely ensured a loaded household in the premiere, but additionally drew attention associated with the regional chapter associated with the Czech-Slovak Heritage Association. Its people, in nationwide costumes, attended en masse, making for the colorful and theater lobby that is slightly surreal.

One of the production’s worldwide cast, Dana Buresova’s Marenka properly enough turned into the real celebrity of Smetana’s charming village that is little. The Czech soprano laughed, pouted, and schemed her method triumphantly through the night, and fully deserved her standing ovation by the end of it. The voice that is singer’s strong, pure, and also in every registers; it carried effortlessly, and she also thrilled the viewers with a few of impressive – albeit maybe perhaps not completely necessary in Smetana’s score – high Cs. The only thing of which i possibly could not exactly accept in this Marenka had been her style in males, for between your two sons regarding the honorable Tobias Micha (portrayed honorably by Ukrainian-Canadian bass Alexander Savtchenko) i may have opted for younger one. Us tenor Doug Jones offered an engaging and endearing portrait for the stammering town fool Vasek, plus in the procedure revealed not just a pleasant lyric tenor vocals, but a real gift that is comic. Meanwhile, as opposed to my personal objectives, I became not too impressed with all the greatly advertised talents associated with tenor that is czech Prolat as Jenek. Prolat wowed the viewers adequately in a few effective scenes by which their strong register that is high impressively on display; he acted well, and blended really sweetly with Marenka into the duets, but way too usually their noise felt somehow “switched off, ” which makes it hard to be entirely pleased with their performance.

Despite often times sounding only a little slim (specially within the sequence section), the orchestra ended up being exceptional, carried out impeccably by just one more Czech import, Oliver von Dohnányi. Through the performance he kept good stability, asserting their existence but permitting the vocalists take over because they should in a rating similar to this one. The tour-de-force of an overture (those not really acquainted with the songs should imagine the fugue from Zauberflöte blended with Mendelssohn’s elves at 3 times the speed) ended up being – that is particularly impressive and energetic, yet clean and rhythmically exact.

Rheinhard Heinrich’s décor took a children␙s that is fold-out as motivation, producing a collection of white-and-brown cardboard dollhouses (with removable front walls allowing anyone to see their interiors) which were “folded” inside and out for the performance in complete view associated with the market. Unfortuitously, this clever and design that is efficient way too cumbersome when it comes to tiny phase associated with Baltimore Lyric, which created for an uncomfortably crowded market with near to forty choristers on phase attempting (not necessarily convincingly) to approximate a polka. The Act 2 furiant ended up far better, due to the fact area dilemma had interracial cupid been settled by sidelining the chorus and making the thing that was kept of center phase to 3 pairs of expert dancers.

The phase manager, James McNamara evidently discovered The Bartered Bride, a slow-moving quantity opera, to be a challenge, along with his approach ended up being significantly a mixture that is stylistic. Many scenes were staged realistically and stuffed complete with phase company, maybe too aggressively every so often ( e.g., while distraught Marenka had been pouring out her heart into an opening “Where are you from? ВЂќ aria, oblivious groom-to-be Jenek busied himself with very first breaking after which repairing a wood stool he’d first conveniently dragged away from a nearby household). Meanwhile, a few key figures for the principals had been presented as cinematic close-ups, with lights dimmed, soloists spotlighted (Jenek’s Act 2 aria had been also done as you’re watching lowered curtain), and “stage realism” suspended and only somewhat antique symbolism, Hollywood-style. Perhaps not that the staging solution for every single specific scene had been fundamentally unsuccessful (although i really do just just take exclusion to your Act 3 sextet – a comic household disagreement meant to project supernatural terror), but from time to time i came across myself wishing that the director would simply make his mind up.

Towards the audience, nonetheless, the most unforgettable moments when you look at the entire manufacturing was truly the circus scene. Using cue through the geographic provenance regarding the Indian together with fake grizzly bear, McNamara made a decision to turn the whole troupe, introduced by the (deliberately? ) out-of-tune trumpet fanfares, in to a crazy crazy western show. The Circus Master, displaying a Texas accent and a cowboy hat, resurrected with this event the dialog that is spoken through the very very first form of Smetana’s rating, although we question that the writing of their opening statement might have been acknowledged by the composer. On top of other things, everybody else in this original-language manufacturing had been abruptly talking English, including the chorus that reacted with obvious comprehension towards the Circus Master’s advertisement, and Vasek whom during their comic tries to woo the dancer Esmeralda somehow managed to lose his Czech if maybe maybe not their stammer. The general public had been addressed to a parade of jugglers, acrobats, clowns on stilts, a grunting Indian, a bearded woman weightlifter, and a poorly trained but brightly costumed dog (yes, a genuine one) that jumped through one big hula hoop, missed one other, but will have its opportunity at a curtain call nevertheless.

Following a fashion, the misadventures regarding the circus mirrored the fortunes for the bigger show of which it had been a component. The bride had been offered with a few panache, several regrettable accidents, plus some debateable choices that warranted raised eyebrows through the purists such as for instance myself. Yet, at the conclusion of it all, Baltimore Lyric did have the ability to placed on a show that is good and fundamentally, a great show is really what opera manufacturing is focused on.

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