Monday, May 23, 2011

Il Trovatore (Movie Glutton Opera Edition)

Can it really be the fourth year in a row that Kelly and I going to the Fort Worth Opera Festival?  I guess it is!  I love Fort Worth: great trail run in the morning, just a few minutes from home (read about it here), a couple hours riding top-notch roller coasters with my son, then a world-class opera at night.  It made for a fun day.

After Elliot went to the symphony with me a couple times (read here and here), he decided that he wanted to go to the opera as well.  How can you say no to an 11 year old who wants to go to the opera with you?  So tonight Elliot, Kelly, and I went to hear Verdi's Il Trovatore.  I have to admit, I knew this was a long opera with a convoluted story line, so I wasn't sure Elliot would like it.  I was certain that afterwards he would say maybe he didn't want to go to the next one.  But he liked it a lot!
We started the evening, apropos to going to an Italian opera, with a little Italian dinner at Mamma Mia.  He got his favorite, fettucini alfredo with chicken.  He immediately liked the waitress because she brought him a big glass of water and not a kiddie cup with a lid.  We all ate too much.

We got to Bass Hall, with which Elliot is becoming quite familiar, and found our way to our seats.  We have the best seats in the cheapest section: front row center in the highest balcony.  As promised, the story of Il Trovatore is rather convoluted.  Gypsies burned at the stake, babies tossed in the fire, mistaken identities, spurned lovers, brother against brother in a civil war, what are we to do!  Of course the music is fabulous, and some of the arias were spectacular.  The Fort Worth Opera's presentation was flawless and the singers, terrific.  We saw Dongwon Shin, the troubadour of the title, in the 2008 FWO Festival production of Turandot.  
"Tell us again about that crazy gypsy who threw her baby in the fire!"
This is quite a famous opera, but the only music I recognized was the "Anvil Chorus," sung by the gypsies in Act 2.  You'll recognize it, too, I bet.  Here's one of many appearances of the tune in a toon:

For an actual review by someone who might know what he's talking about, see the Star-Telegram
My angels with the Bass Hall angel in the background.

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