What is the point posting a review when the run is over? My motto is borrowed from the Hippocratic Oath, namely “above all do no harm,” if that tells you anything.
Some of the voices sounded better than others, some singers were a pleasant & unexpected surprise.
But even so I want to ask Voicebox aka Opera In Concert to remember their name & their origins.
“Opera in concert” for me entails getting a bunch of people to do the show in formal attire, either with a piano or (if we’re lucky) with an orchestra. There’s a great deal to recommend this, even if we lose some, perhaps most of the theatre. By concentrating on the music, we can realize ideal performances, at least the best of those voices.
I watched Adriana Lecouvreur filmed by Ryan Harper for Voicebox’s online presentation. You’ve seen me rave about my love for his tenor voice, and alas alack, he was the best thing about this show. Alas because uh oh he was not singing, only filming.
We’re watching a very inconsistent group of performers working in a broad array of dramatic styles. Some are completely believable in close-up, while others seem to think they’re on a huge stage.
I think the singers, the opera, the composer, would all have been better served by a performance in tuxes & dresses, standing & delivering from music stands, rather than attempting & failing utterly to create the necessary illusion.
It’s funny, I was teased with references to Bajazet (the Racine play) and Roxanne (the temptress in his play), in the opera. I remember seeing a student production of Bajazet more than 25 years ago. How ironic that what I saw captured so elegantly by Harper’s camera work also resembled a student production. There is ambition here, to be sure, but I wish they had been more modest in simply offering the opera in concert. It doesn’t work for me in this version.
The pandemic is coming to its end, hopefully live theatre will be back before too long. Whenever it returns, I hope Voicebox – Opera in Concert remember their mandate.