Saturday, August 26, 2017
Merola Opera Grand Finale
Donizetti's one-act opera Rita. Student stage director Victoria Crutchfield turned it into a production number where our hero is finally free to be gay, which was borderline offensive, but not as offensive as the original story which is a comedy about domestic abuse. Acosta sang and danced all over the David Hockney Turandot stairs which were the backdrop for the second half of the evening, and he and his buddies performed with such panache that the number was a triumph. Plus, Acosta has a beautiful voice.
The conducing by Antony Walker was very Goldilocks, sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow, and sometimes just right. Overall, I thought he and the orchestra did a fine job with the many kinds of music they were performing. Crutchfield directed the scenes so they flowed smoothly from one to the next, and managed not to be completely overwhelmed by the weirdly inappropriate Turandot sets. Good luck to all the Merolini, and may some of them make it all the way upstream to a professional singing career.