* Notes *
Half a dozen Adler Fellows put on Hugo Weisgall's The Stronger and Mozart's The Impresario at Livermore Valley Opera last Sunday. Pianist Tamara Sanikidze played the astringent music with aplomb, and Leah Crocetto managed to command attention despite how unsympathetic the character of Estelle could be. Maya Lahyani acted the mute role of Lisa convincingly, and without being reduced to a mime.
Allen Periello and Tamara Sanikidze were entirely adorable in their highly choreographed performance of the overture to The Impresario (Der Schauspieldirektor) on piano. This involved both high-fives and switching who played the high notes, all to hilarious effect. Periello played most of the rest of the opera by himself, quite prettily, and Sanikidze joined him again for the finale. The three singers, Austin Kness, Susannah Biller, and Sarah Gartland, took on German, French, and English accents, respectively. It was exceedingly silly and came off well. The singing was fine, though the ladies did get a bit shrill at times, though that fit the dynamic of their rivalry perfectly.
* Tattling *
The audience was uncommonly attentive, no electronic noise was noted, and no one talked or whispered during the music. There was much laughing during the second opera.
I later heard that they were supposed to have three operas and not just two, the third featuring Ryan Belongie and Maya Lahyani. Curiously enough, Belongie was listed on Livermore Valley Opera's official site as one of the singers in the performance, though he did not appear on stage.