Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.

 

Ensemble

A Wonderful Experience

Two productions at Santa Fe Opera,
reviewed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

A trip to Santa Fe Opera is always a wonderful experience. The New Mexico city's opera house is located a few miles out of the city in the beautiful, mountainous countryside, where cares melt away and relaxation takes over. The theater is now completely roofed over, but audiences can still see out the sides of the structure so the sky, in all its wonder, with incredible sunsets and occasional threatening storms, is often a part of the ambience.

Serena Farnocchia, Dimitri Pittas, Nicole Cabell and James Westman in Act II of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard
Serena Farnocchia, Dimitri Pittas, Nicole Cabell and James Westman in Act II of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard

At the performance of Giacomo Puccini's La bohème on Monday 20 August 2007, Mimi's candle blew out just after the last rays of the setting sun had disappeared behind the mountain tops. It was a most romantic opening for a musical evening.

Wilbur Pauley and Nicole Cabell in 'La bohème'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard
Wilbur Pauley and Nicole Cabell in 'La bohème'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard

Because this Puccini opera is so often performed, designers have to produce outstanding creations to be ahead of the crowd. Kevin Knight's scenery was memorable for its ability to transform the Bohemians' garret into a weathered Paris building by merely bringing its two sides together. Open for Acts I and IV, it was a cramped attic with stairs leading down to levels below. Closed, it became the outdoor scenes for Acts II and III. Actually, stage director, Paul Curran, moved the time from the 1890s to the era of World War I, but that was mainly noticeable from the styles and dull colors of his costuming.

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Copyright © 1 September 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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