Tonight we went to the opera. Actually, it is a scaled down version of the opera, with fantastic singing, but performed in a church with minimal staging and cast. St. Mark’s Anglican Church produces a whole season of opera, the proceeds of which go to support an orphanage in India.
Tonight we saw La Traviata, and a few weeks ago we saw Carmen. Before each act, a person comes out and gives a brief synopsis of the action in the scene (in English) so you know the story. The accompaniment is all on piano, and the two piano players for the shows we’ve seen have been phenomenal. Although the operas have been edited for length, they are full opera performances.
I loved Carmen, partly because it is action packed, it has some songs I recognize, and the singer playing Carmen was an excellent actress. She also had a great voice, but her acting really made it come alive. La Traviata was less action packed, especially in the first half, I didn’t recognize any of the songs, and the actress was less compelling. However, she had an amazing, soaring voice and the vocal gymnastics were stunning.
Although the church doesn’t look like much from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside.
The opera season runs February through July. This is one of the many cultural activities that students have access to at reduced rates, though this is an inexpensive way for everyone to see opera. Tickets are €15 – €20.
At some point, I’d like to go see an opera at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentina here in Florence, or at the amphitheater in Verona. Perhaps this summer…