What a fabulous experience my son and I had at The Mobile Opera‘s production of Pagliacci. We were fortunate to be invited to the dress rehearsal where my son was allowed to take these beautiful photos, and an added benefit was the lyrics gave a boost to his new study of Italian. At one point, he leaned over and whispered, “I know that word,” which was, “andiamo” and means, “let’s go,” but we definitely did not want to leave.
This production was held in The Temple, a downtown location that at first confused me because it’s such a strange building, (with two chesty Egyptian looking statues) but once I entered and saw what they had done with the place, everything made perfect sense.
The stage has been built out to be closer to the audience and the orchestra sits stage right, allowing better visibility. Special comfy-back-pleasing chairs have been installed, and it all added up to a wonderful musical and theatrical experience. The screen showing subtitles was clear and didn’t interfere or glare like I’ve seen in other places.
I can’t say enough about the marvelous talent. The performers were all highly sought-after award winners and hail from New York, Boston and New Orleans. Local talent made up most of the chorus, who by the way, never once came out of character nor bobbled a move. I’m consistently blown-away by how much high quality talent – of all genres, comes from our local area. The costumes were charming and stayed true to old Italian peasant style.
Although it was a dress rehearsal, the program played straight through with total perfection.
The music was powerful with the 19 piece Mobile Opera Orchestra sounding rich and strong. The conductor, Maestro Curtis Tucker serves as theÂ Artistic Director for First Coast Opera in St. Augustine,Â Florida and is a freelance producer and conductor of opera and music performances. Mobile is truly fortunate to have him conduct this wonderful performance.
Being the typical teenager, my son wanted to know exactly what it was he was going to be seeing. I told him there would be a sad, mean clown and that just made him more confused. However, when it was all over, he loved it and considered himself very spiffy to have attended the opera.
As always, if you are in this local area, I encourage you to get up off the couch and do something new and adventurous. If you’ve never been to the opera, this is the perfect time to go (football isn’t the only thrilling thing in town!).
So tell me, have you ever been threatened by a sad, mean clown? Have you ever been to the opera?