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2 Responses to "Were you ‘art-full’ this past week?"

  1. Octavian1

    On Friday night I attended an excellent performance of Dominick Argento’s one-act opera Postcard from Morocco. While sung by students, it was professional and well done in every aspect — a true revelation of what is happening on the Binghamton University campus in the music department.

    Performances were on March 9 and 11; the women in the production were double cast, while the men sang both performances. MM Opera, MM Voice and BMus undergraduates sang the seven roles (three women, four men). Kudos to them, their voice teachers and their vocal coaches, as the singing was excellent across the board. Their acting was equally effective and nuanced, due in no small part to the expert staging by Tommy Iafrate, which was never fussy yet made space for the big moments.
    The small orchestra, conducted by Willie Anthony Waters and comprised of faculty members, was crisp and musical and never overpowering, shining particularly in its all-too-brief “solo” opportunity in the middle of the production. What surprised/impressed me most about this performance (in a good way) was the level of musicianship, understanding of the style and its idioms, and the fact that I could clearly understand the English (an altogether too frequent pet peeve of mine) –- I’ve seen professional opera productions that couldn’t bring all that to the table. All in all a VERY enjoyable evening of astonishingly good quality.

  2. Heldencomprimario

    I agree! It’s a bizarre little opera with no plot, about people hiding secrets and yet wanting to know everyone else’s. The staging was was like choreography. I can’t imagine the work that went into that. Every character had his or her own way of moving; you knew all you needed to know about the Hatbox Lady just by the way Deanna Morgan moved — and, as the Foreign Singer, she moved completely differently. The singing was impressive and understandable (although there are places where the characters sing nonsense syllables on purpose). I did some research and found that the composer got brickbats from his fellow composers for writing memorable tunes for an opera in 1971. I can’t remember who sang a gorgeous quartet, but I do remember that Cole Tornberg got the two best arias in the show. Kudos to Carina Kahane who was charged with singing notes only dogs can hear, and Erik Tofte did his role on crutches. The orchestra should get an award for playing what sounded like a really challenging score that changed the atmosphere, but the percussionist had the most to do. … I’m looking at the program now. …Okay, it was Daniel Fabricius. He was just showing off!

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