Tag Archives: Florida Grand Opera
Florida Grand Opera promised a season of Divas to Die For, and it couldn’t have been more on point in that respect with its 77th season opener, Lucia di Lammermoor. Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece may not be as familiar to operagoers as some of the classics, but it’s a crowd pleaser with its 15-minute tour de force which plunges Lucia into hysteria, drama around every corner, and a Romantic score of beautiful melodies.
Opera is all about technique, spotlighting it, honoring it, celebrating it. So when Florida Grand Opera took on one of the most demanding works in the entire canon, Verdi’s A Masked Ball, it wisely hired accomplished singers whose polished skills are as dazzling by themselves as watching Olympic figure skaters.
The true-life narrative in Before Night Falls is profoundly powerful and undeniably affecting: Reinaldo Areneas, the gay Cuban poet, inspired by the beauty of the island but brutally oppressed by the government, escapes to America only to find that the loss of his homeland is as crippling as the loss of freedom had been.
This may be heresy, but maybe grand opera shouldn’t always be so grand. Florida Grand Opera’s current production of Tchaikovsky’s romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin reportedly has a more intimate feel than many predecessors. But that only points the way to an idea that might make this classic even more affecting.
Critics and award judges have been talking about it for weeks: The sheer amount of high quality work has made evaluating the last 12 months unusually challenging, but also an opportunity to remember one of the most rewarding calendar years in recent memory. So here’s a supremely subjective stab by all three critics here at Florida Theater On Stage at recognizing the shows and performances that stood out from a pack of productions.
Oddly, for all the technical artistry that the assembled talents are displaying in Florida Grand Opera’s thoroughly satisfying 10th run at Georges Bizet’s deathlessly popular masterwork, it is the imaginative touches of director Bernard Uzan and his insistence that they singers act that makes this edition memorable.
Florida Grand Opera’s shattering production of Mieczyystaw Weinberg’s The Passenger. explains why opera exists and what it can be.
The Passenger, composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s operatic treatment of the Holocaust and its aftermath, will be a heavy enterprise, in a number of ways, when it makes its area debut April 2-9. The Florida Grand Opera will present The Passenger at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
Florida Grand Opera’s infrequently mounted Norma, a marathon challenge for sopranos, is a superbly executed triumph that melds technical mastery and gut-wrenching emotion.
Even the Bugs Bunny The Barber of Seville (which gets a subtle nod in Florida Grand Opera’s new outing) never featured the tenor and baritone-bass dueling with a plumber’s plunger and a toilet bowl brush.