* Notes *
Lost in the Stars, composed by Kurt Weill with book and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, opened at the Glimmerglass Festival (Act I pictured left with Sean Panikkar as The Leader, photograph by Karli Cadel) on Sunday afternoon. This opera is based on South African author Alan Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country. Somehow the opera feels a little naive, the characters are not particularly nuanced. This co-production, directed by Tazewell Thompson, is with Cape Town Opera, where it was performed last November. Michael John Mitchell's set is clean and his costumes attractive.
The orchestra sounded spirited under the baton of John DeMain. The chorus was strong. Chrystal E. Williams sang a hilarious "Who'll Buy?" in Act I, and the list of fruits and vegetables were amusing to hear. Sean Panikkar (The Leader) sounded bright and powerful throughout the performance. Eric Owens convinced as Stephen Kumalo, though the role seems to sit a bit high in his range perhaps. He was very good about keeping the South African accent in his voice even whilst singing.
* Tattling *
There was too much talking in the balcony when only the orchestra played. The audience appeared rather moved by the performance, however.