OPERA San Antonio took a giant step Friday night with the first staging of its fourth season.
The company spread its wings by staging a Shakespearean opera by Giuseppe Verdi, taking a chance on “Macbeth,” one that many people haven’t seen despite its vivid theatrics. The company also presented its biggest chorus yet, 32 wonderful singers.
Somewhere between the sun and the moon, imagination sparked the creation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in the 1700s.
In the 21st century, a new imagination formed “The Land of the Magic Flute,” a work of art that recreates itself every time it is performed — and the production Tuesday night at Trinity University’s Ruth Taylor Recital Hallfor an audience of nearly 300 people was like no other before it.
The story isn’t new on how Carmen came into being: Georges Bizet predominately worked in the genres of opera, wrote orchestral music, and songs for piano. Bizet was from that hip, intellectual area of Paris known as Montmartre; and he attended the Paris Conservatoire (a place of grooming for talented performers and composers); won the Rome Prize and lived on the government's dime from 1857-1860; and later had some success with one of his earlier minor operas, The Pretty Maid of Perth (1867).
The enduring popularity of Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” flows from the uncommon unity of its fabulous melodies with the story’s magnetic characters and their emotions.
Opera San Antonio’s “Carmen” production, the first of its 2016-17 season, magnified that unity in its Thursday night performance in all the ways that counted.
The main strengths of the staging were the exceptionally strong core singing cast that combined with splendid orchestral support from the San Antonio Symphony in the pit, all performing in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts before nearly 1,400 patrons.