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Subject: Re: Teatro Lirico D-Europa does "Aida"
From: paolo <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:paolo <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Feb 2003 21:19:31 -0500

text/plain (61 lines)

Linda Rozakis wrote (in part):

>  I saw this company's production of Aida when they brought it to Atlanta
and was terribly disappointed.  My >high school did a more professional job
with staging, blocking and costumes in our musical productions >than these
folks did.  . . . Why did Opera News devote several pages in an article to
these folks ? (Feb 2002 >Road Warriors) and did Mr. Dyer actually see their
performance ?

My prior post (under "In praise of touring companies") seemed not to answer
any questions of why "these companies exist."  However, there are at least a
few listers besides myself (John Deredita, chief among them), whose opinions
I highly respect, who have fallen under the charms of this ambitious and
prolific company with its ragtag schedule, and I don't believe we're
musically illiterate, challenged, or ill informed.  We know what "grand
opera" have attended world class opera 'round the globe, so there must be
some reason we enjoy  these experiences.

Previously I stated it is unrealistic to expect a company like Teatro Lirico
to have

Judy Raddue, who has sung with the company, states that there are too many
good American companies who do a better job, but I'll disagree.  If they
are, they're not coming to my town (or, I'd venture, most small American
towns and cities).  Without Teatro Lirico or London City Opera, and similar
groups, Portland, Maine  (and I imagine similar small cities), would be
reduced to the (back down to) two performances of one production our local
company does one weekend each summer.   For an opera lover, or anyone
remotely curious about opera, the touring companies provide a great
introduction to live opera.  They also often provide a great introduction to
some exciting up and coming singers, which, I admit, I am always looking to
find, and whom I'm glad to see getting actual stage experience.  I remember
reading Sills talking about her season's with the Wagner Touring Opera, and
have heard from people over the years, who got to hear her in those first
Traviatas, or in a vocally suitable role (Michaela) that she would soon drop
from her repertoire.

With the proliferation of televised opera, opera on video/DVD, etc., I think
too many of us have come to expect the glitzy production qualities,
realisitc sets, sparkling costumes, etc., that the Met, Covent Garden, and
other international houses put out, when what is most important is the
musical performance.  While these certainly may be variable, as I stated in
my previous post, "any opera at all is better than NO opera at all."
I certainly am appreciative of the large international houses, but have not
the remotest of notions when I see a touring company that the "product" is
going to be the same.  I've had friends here whos introduction to opera was
through these tours and who have gotten hooked and now will travel to the
Met, etc.

As to questioning whether Mr. Dyer has actually seen the performances, I can
say "yes."  His reviews while the company was taking up a small residency in
Boston were both enthusiastic and honest.  While I don't always agree with
everything he says, I don't think his remarks about Teatro Lirico were off
the mark.

The bottom line, I guess is it all depends on what you want out of a
performance, and we are all entitled to our prerogotives.


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