Auros (auros) wrote,

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Glorious silliness.

L'Italiana in Algeri is one of the most wonderfully silly operas I've ever seen -- up there with Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, and of course Rossini's own Barber of Seville. The heroine is very much ahead of her time; she wouldn't feel out of place in a "girls rule!" light comedy in the modern age. (Actually, Xta, you might well have liked it; for one thing, the heroine's an alto, and the only high soprano has a relatively minor role.) The production they're doing is very, very good -- the costumes aren't quite as gorgeous and colorful as the ones for the Pearl Fishers were last summer, but still colorful and dramatic. The "storybook" design for the primary set (literally a giant book, which opens to reveal a fold-out Turkish palace) is fabulous, and the updating of the look, placing the story in the early 20th century, works very well; they modelled Isabella's primary costume on pictures of Amelia Earhart.

The two top leads were fantastic, and the bass doing Mustafa was hilarious, in both his vocal style and his execution of the physical choreography. (Actually, the choreography was universally excellent -- it would fit well in an early Mel Brooks musical.)

I originally had planned on just getting one of the overpriced sandwiches from the Dress Circle Cafe, but I ended up getting their even earlier than planned, and I figured I'd finally try the downstairs restaurant. It's even MORE overpriced; very, very good food, but it costs about twice what it should. I had an excellent salad of greens, heirloom tomato (Lemon Boy, Green Zebra, and something deep red with a moist-but-firm, almost meaty texture), herbed chevre, crostini with green olive tapenade, and a dressing of orange-infused oil and a little bit of vinegar (not sure what, since there wasn't much there; might've been sherry-based if it was a wine-vinegar at all, or maybe it was raspberry). And I was unable to resist the almond cookies and lavender creme brulee, which they bruleed with a spoon stuck in it so they could pull the spoon out with the sugar still melty (thus presenting it with a scoop of custard already on the spoon, completely sealed in with brulee crust), and fill the resulting crater in the custard with strawberry sauce. o_O

Before the show and during intermission, chatted with vvvexation (it seems like half my f-list is going into education -- which is probably a good thing for the country, as we could use more smart teachers in the world), and with a random eccentric old man who apparently was the personal assistant to Hopkins President Milt Eisenhower way back in the day, and later helped plan and develop the library devoted to his former boss. He seemed like a nice old gent, though he rambled on a bit narcissistically; probably a widower who doesn't get a lot of socializing, and misses being in the middle of things. If I had business cards, I might've considered giving him one, because he was an interesting guy... but, on the other hand, also kind of annoying. *insert conflicting feelings about that whole aging-and-mortality-thing here, which are far too complicated for a quick post from work*

Oh, also, at intermission we moved from our assigned seats in Dress Circle to a pair of vacant seats in the first row of the DC -- where, because there's just a railing-with-hung-curtain separating it from the aisle below (which runs between DC and Grand Tier), I could stretch my legs! My knees were so much happier there. I clearly need to get my subscription seats moved up to row A next year, even if it means moving out of the center section.

Anyways, it took about an hour to haul myself out of bed this morning, since I didn't go to sleep until almost 1am... But, a fun evening, in any case.

ETA: On the rare occasions that the Bush administration has a good idea, you can always count on their allies in Congress to screw it up. Republicans are... special. Saxby Chambliss is terrified of driving up agricultural prices in the third world. What, would it be so terrible if the farmers there could actually make a living? (Maybe we could, you know, repeal our own insane farm subsidies, while we're at it...)

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