Final Dress Rehearsal of Ariodante
June 13, 2008
* Notes *
If the final dress rehearsal of Ariodante last night was any indication, I will likely go to as many performances of it as possible. The cast is strong, of course Susan Graham and Ruth Ann Swenson are wonderful, but debuting Sonia Prina, Veronica Cangemi, and Richard Croft are not disappointing either.
The orchestra sounded pretty good, the brass section was slightly rough at times, but not as much as in the premiere of Das Rheingold. Patrick Summers took the tempi quite fast. The style of playing was appropriate for the type of music at hand.
The production certainly looks like it is from the 80s, which can be pleasantly absurd, but more discussion on that after the opening, which is, incidentally, Sunday, June 15th.
* Tattling *
Before the rehearsal a person behind me insisted that if "the terrorists" decided to bomb the War Memorial Opera House, it would be no great loss, as it is, in his opinion, the worst opera house in the United States as far as acoustics and comfort are concerned. He was also adamant that the duets in Ariodante are very unusual for Baroque opera and he repeated this statement in between acts. It made me think of the duets in Rodelinda and Giulio Cesare, which was just confusing because those earlier works than Ariodante, since Senesino was singing those and Giovanni Carestini sang in the latter.
Yesterday was director John Copley's 75th birthday, and after the bows we sang "Happy Birthday." I've now sung with Ruth Ann Swenson and Susan Graham, which is probably not going to happen again.