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Subject: Silent Night at MOT
From: Ron Magnuson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ron Magnuson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:49:29 -0500
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Keven Puts’ Silent Night makes for an ideal compagnon to The Passenger in the Opera in our Time series at Michigan Opera Theater.  The series hopes to stimulate interest in the music of contemporary composers.  This opera should go a long way in achieving this goal as It is very accessible, full of lovely melodic lines, lush harmonic treatment and percussive energy.
The highlights for me include the nostalgic "J'ai perdu ta lettre", the sublime men's chorus that follows the aria, the charming Scottish tune accompanied by bagpipes (playing from somewhere in the bowls of the theater) and the heartbreaking chorus accompanied by the reappearance of the mournful drone of the pipes as the dead of the three forces are buried before hostilities recommence.
Hats off to the vocal coach as I could easily understand the French, German and  even the Scottish brogue as enunciated by the singers.
The orchestra reveled in the many evocative colors provided by the score and the chorus was, as usual, superb.
The production was a visual success as well, with an innovative rotating set, borrowed from the Minnesota Opera, and inventive projections against the backdrop.
Opera listers will be happy to know that the events of World War l were not updated to those in Syria today.

Ron Magnuson
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