14. September 2011 · Comments Off on Out West Arts Came In To Idomeneo · Categories: Opera, Reviews

… and he liked it …

It begins:

The weekend ended in the same tone and fashion as all that had preceded it – with Trojan women lamenting their lot and an opera about another heart of another soldier. Opera San Jose opened up their 2011/2012 season on Saturday with Mozart’s Idomeneo. The company relies on its own in-house resident vocal artists for all of its shows and usually presents performances more frequently over a shorter time period than other companies using two different alternating casts. This system provides some benefits in terms of more protracted rehearsal times and better integration among performers who work together repeatedly over a season in many different productions. When Opera San Jose opens a show, they are good and ready, which was apparent on Sunday when I saw the second performance in the run, which was the first with its particular cast. It was ironic in a way that on September 11, I felt as if Mozart had more to say to me about heroism and loss than Heart of a Soldier did. Within moments of the opening bars of Idomeneo all the insanity of the world seemed to organize itself in a manner humanity could comprehend.


I am happy to say that even the orchestra had extra rehearsals for this particular opera. We usually get one “orchestra only” rehearsal. This time we had four, although they weren’t truly just us, as the Maestro had singers come in; I believe I mentioned earlier that the chorus master sang the first few, blowing us away with his stamina. Following that the cast members sang, and before the sitzprobes they sang from the front of the hall where we could see and hear them very well. I wish we had the opportunity to hear them (and see them) like that for every opera. It does make a big difference to us. Or to me, at least.

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