The Bartered Bride

Prodaná nevěsta at Opera Boston

Cutler-majestic * Notes * 
Opera Boston's delightful production of The Bartered Bride opened yesterday at the Cutler Majestic. The setting of the opera was updated to Spillville, Iowa, just after the Great Depression. Most of the text was sung in an English translation, though some of the choral parts were in Czech, and somehow, this actually worked. The sets were simple, but inventive, involving many platforms that will pushed around by cast members and various flat objects hanging from the ceiling that could be raised or lowered to change a scene.

The costumes were attractive, except for Mařenka's, which just did not look like it fit the period. Perhaps it was the particular shade of green. The circus performers looked incredible, however. The clowns, acrobats, and dancers all looked great. Daniel Pelzig's staging was completely adorable without becoming cloying and the choreography was done quite well.

The orchestra sounded thoroughly rehearsed under Gil Rose, and played admirably, despite their rather small-scale. The singers, likewise, sounded very together. James Maddalena was a hilarious Kecal, and though his voice is a little thin, he did not miss a beat in his comic timing. Jennifer Aylmer also acted in the title-role quite excellently. Her voice is appealing except in her highest register, which is somewhat shrill. Patrick Miller's Opera Boston debut was hopeful, his Jeník was perfectly charming. His Act II aria was certainly a highlight of the evening.

* Tattling * 
Watch alarms went off at each hour, and there was some talking in the audience.

"Grazing juicy bacon makers," from the first act trio, was perhaps the most amusing line of the opera.

Paris Opera's 2008-2009 Season

September 6-11 2008: Eugene Onegin
September 24- November 2 2008: Rigoletto
October 11- November 2 2008: The Bartered Bride
October 13- November 12 2008: Cunning Little Vixen
October 30- December 3 2008: Tristan und Isolde
November 17- December 23 2008: Die Zauberflöte
November 25- December 21 2008: Fidelio
January 17-30 2009: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
January 24- February 8 2009: Yvonne, princesse de Bourgogne
January 29- March 4 2009: Madama Butterfly
February 27- March 22 2009: Idomeneo
February 28- March 26 2009: Werther
April 4- May 8 2009: Macbeth
April 10- May 23 2009: Un ballo in maschera
May 4-18 2009: The Makropulos Affair
May 20- June 5 2009: Tosca
June 13-21 2009: Demofoonte
June 18- July 2009: King Roger

Riccardo Muti conducts Demofoonte. Waltraud Meier sings Isolde opposite of Clifton Forbis. Paul Groves sings the title role of Idomeneo, with Joyce DiDonato as Idamante and Camilla Tilling as Ilia. Rolando Villazon shares the role of Werther with Marcus Haddock. Deborah Voigt shares the role of Amelia with Angela Brown and Ulrica Elena Manistina.

2008-2009 Schedule | Official Site