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Italian Opera, Eastern European style

January 29, 2007

Galina Stoyanova
We caught the Bulgarian State Opera's production of "Tosca" on Friday at George Mason -- and let me tell you, it wasn't a pretty sight.  Weak voices, limp stage direction, and a generally clunky and industrial event in every way.  Tom Huizenga has a review in today's Post that sums it up precisely:  "mostly a disappointment," he says, with "asthmatic winds and sour strings" in the ill-led orchestra, and a Tosca (the young Galina Stoyanova) who "opted for an evening-long pout" rather than trying to actually act.

Tom didn't mention some of the more wonderful moments, like the slide-animated Madonna who wept blood  (priceless) and Stoyanova's dainty little hop as she threw herself to her death at the end, which had us trying desperately not to laugh.  But as we quickly got up to leave, I looked over my shoulder -- and the troupe was getting a standing ovation.

                                     Natasha Razina
The Kirov Opera is also in town, and presented Gioachino Rossini's "Il Viaggio a Reims" at the KenCen this weekend; didn't get to see it, but the Post's Tim Page has a review today. It sounds wild: "caustic, clever and appropriately wacky," says Page, with a set that calls to mind "that ocean liner the Marx Brothers could never quite escape in "Monkey Business," complete with a gangplank into the audience."

Despite "much at which to marvel", though, he found the music had a "hard Eastern European severity" and was "declaimed rather than caressed."

The Kirov is putting on Giuseppe Verdi's "Falstaff" this week, and a concert version of Dmitri Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" next Sunday, also at the Kennedy Center.

Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 at 10:17AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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