Emerald City Opera Company
Steamboat Springs, CO
August 18, 2011
by Fay Loux
First I have a personal story. If you want only the review, skip to the
second paragraph. I first "met" Athena on the Internet after we both
had attended the first Irish Tenor concert in Seattle in 1999. As she
moved around quite a bit, we lost touch. Then, I found her on Facebook
2 years ago. She was in Montana and now had 6 children! Her
wonderful husband, Mark, is in the National Guard and has been
deployed for the past 9-10 months. For her birthday, he went online
from Iraq and ordered her two tickets to Die Fledermaus. She
immediately emailed and invited me to go. I was not planning to
go but could not miss this opportunity so we met for the very first time
at the Denver airport and drove to Steamboat Springs, and she was
attending her first Anthony performance since, I think, 2003.
We were asked not to take pictures so I only took pictures at curtain
call. Die Fledermaus, of course, is a comic opera, and Anthony played
Alfred, the Italian paramour, with relish complete with Italian accent!
The set was spare but adequate to do the job. The excellent pick-up
orchestra was under the baton of Maestro Adam Flatt, principal
conductor for the Colorado Ballet. It was stage left but did not
overpower the voices. The acoustics were great, no amplification
needed. I have never seen the opera so I don't know how much was
ad lib and now much was scripted, but every now and then,
contemporary references were made, and during Anthony's scenes
with his lady love, he would break into various arias to woo her until
she would shush him with a hand delicated placed over his mouth. I
will concentrate on Anthony's performance as it is my report and I can.
The opera opens with the unmistakable tenor voice off stage
serenading his love, Rosalinda, then as the plot moves along, he
comes on stage to woo Rosalinda with a lovely duet, is mistakenly
identified as her husband and eagerly goes to jail as the price for
giving her multiple goodbye kisses, then exits the stage until the
third act. The plot thickens in the second act with intrigue and
more mistaken identifies, all in spoken and sung in English,
which was very helpful to the uninitiated: Me. The cast was assembled
from as far away as New York and Las Vegas to as near as Denver
and Steamboat. They were very competent with only 4 days' rehearsal.
The third act takes place back at the jail with Alfred trying to get out
of jail with the trio involving the husband trying to figure out what
shenanigans are going on between Alfredo and Rosalinda and them
trying to get him to confess to his picadillos, "A Strange Adventure."
It was a total delight. The performance was well attended. It looked
like a sell-out to me or close to it. My compliments to the Emerald
City Opera Company.
After the performance, there was a cast party with wine and hors
d'oeuvres, very nicely done. They even had a birthday cake for Anthony
but, strangely, not one chorus of "Happy Birthday." In talking with the
cast, they were all very excited to be able to perform with Anthony and
noted that he was equally happy to be performing with them as a company.
Athena and Fay.