Cavalleria Rusticana and Gianni Schicchi - Lyric Opera of the North

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LOON Opera’s Two Operas in one acts

The LOON opera, otherwise know as the Lyric opera of the north offered an opportunity of a lifetime this season. Two one act opera’s Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” & Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi”. The opposition of the two shows was intriguing. Mascagni’s serious story of Adultery, and Puccini’s genius comedy were easy to consume as an audience member and the transition from serious too seriously hilarious was ingenious.

It was surprising for the LOON to have such a large opera at a high school, but the space was perfect. From the orchestra’s sounds filling the air, to the beautiful voices of professional singers bouncing from wall to wall, LOON could not have chosen a better location.

“Cavalleria Rusticana”, a story of lust, and adultery covered every aspect of a classical opera. The supertitles above translating the Italian were an audience members dream. Not having to know Italian to understand what was going on, or to only follow by gestures of the performers made this opera more enjoyable than most audience members would have expected from an opera. “Cavalleria Rusticana” is set in a small Tuscan town on Easter Sunday. Turridu, a soldier has cheated on his lover Santuzza, a peasant girl with a neighbor Lola. Lola’s Husband Alfio returns from his long trip working and Santuzza tells him what has happened. In his anger Alfio sets out to seek revenge on Turridu and the dramatic act ends.

The most beautiful part of this entire performance was not done by the singing of professionals, but by the dancing of Suzanne Kritzberg and Reinhard Von Rabenau of the Minnesota Ballet. Any person who enjoys, and has an appreciation for ballet had wet eyes after their dance. Every emotion you could imagine was shown through their bodies, and their story of love needed no words.

The Second performance of “Gianni Schicchi” had the audience laughing so hard some may have begun to cry. Puccini truly was a musical mastermind. He not only made an opera hilarious, but tied in a tragedy and one of the most well known opera arias’s of all time. Rachel Inselman began to sing O Mio Babino but the opera was in English. This took away from the overall fun of hearing this song from such a talented performer. The supertitles during this Act were surely not necessary as they were during “cavalleria Rusticana”, and were much of a distraction.

The story told was that of Buoso Donati’s death, and his family member’s greed. In a time of need his rather quirky family calls on the prankster Gianni Schicchi. Whose daughter, Lauretta is in love with Gherardino, Donati’s son. The pair’s tragic love story became more humorous as the act went on. The two young and in love sing their hearts out over Gianni Schicchi, and Donati’s family members. Gianni Schicchi’s scheme to change Donati’s will works not only in the family’s favor but also in his own.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Harvey published on October 13, 2011 11:20 AM.

The Laramie Project - UMD Stage 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

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