Getting Cosi With Opera

Could it be that nothing has been added to the House of Rapp for eighteen days?


By way of explanation, I can only proclaim “Life is short. Opera is long.” Especially when it’s a Mozart opera. Nothing personal, Wolfgang…

Speaking of which, it’s a pleasure to report that Opera Pacific’s production of Cosi fan Tutte is finally over and we’re moving on to more interesting fare. I’ve got some backstage photos from Cosi if you’re interested.

Next up is Bernstein’s Candide–a show I was patently unfamiliar with until recently. It’s not exactly a perennial favorite on the operatic or musical theatre stage, which is a shame because the music really sparkles. I can’t think of another show that has an aria, waltz, tango, ballad, and mazurka all in the same score.

Candide is quite timely. Voltaire’s classic was selected by Leonard Bernstein and Lillian Hellman as a way of lampooning the the McCarthyism of the 1950s. Today we have the Patriot Act and jingoism to worry about.

My favorite number from the show is “I’m Easily Assimilated”, where an old Polish woman raves about the virtues of adopting the local culture:

You must be Spanish too / Do like the natives do
These days you have to be / In the majority

Anyway, after Candide comes a revival of the Carmina Burana/Pagliacci pairing we did a few years ago. It’s just about the only production during my nine years with the company that was loved by critics, cast, and audience alike.

So while the next few months will be busy as all get out (whatever that means), I predict they’ll be great fun, too.

  2 comments for “Getting Cosi With Opera

  1. "aunt" betty"
    January 27, 2004 at 6:26 am

    i wish that w were closer to orange county. i would love to be able to come to see and hear you in the operas. it’s funny that your great grandfather ws a real fan of the opera. i remember listening to all the great opera stars on records and the radio, when i was growing up. we had recordings of caruso and gallicurci. i’m sure that there were more but those stuck out in my mind. i suppose that it is true, music transends generations and the world.

    “aunt” betty

  2. Horace Anderson
    February 8, 2004 at 8:09 pm

    I have never Seen Cosi, but loved the recording in English by Ruth and Thomas Martin. I don’t feel that old, but I knew the woman who was Puccini’s choice to sing Tourandot. Her name was Rosa Raiesa, and I don’t know if she sang the title character or Liu, but Puccini approached her and said, “your my gal”. When I knew her she was teaching voice in Chicago and was quite senior. Don’t mean to be an “Aunt Blabby” but I used to soup with the Met when they came to town.
    Saw John Vickers as Peter Grimes and now live in the town where Britain lived when he wrote it, Escondido Californial. He and Peter Pears for whom he wrote it were dodging the draft and moved from England, and my little town was as remote as they could fine. Fiction and Fact from Horaces alminac.

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