Friday, November 12, 2010

On A Midsummer Night's Dream - Lyric Opera of Chicago A

On Wednesday evening, Scott and I made our way to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to see their new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream by Benjamin Britten. Although I know a bit of Shakespeare's story, I hadn't seen this opera before and based on the images made available before hand I was excited to see it.

You know, I love the opera. The whole experience appeals to me, but the truth of the matter is that it is a costly endeavor and somewhat of an extravagance to partake in. We got a great deal on our tickets, but the night is an investment and so the desired result is something quite over the top. Something you couldn't or wouldn't see somewhere else. With this production, the Lyric delivers. It was stunning. The set was incredibly simple, but the way in which it was manipulated through light and navigated with opulent yet clever costuming, well, it was beautiful. The truth of the matter is, you don't see (or hear) anything like this anywhere else other than the operatic stage. Not on this scale and of this caliber. It is a three hour treat.

The singing was incredible and I had the distinct pleasure to be able to witness a friend from college give an outstanding performance. Elizabeth DeShong, a fellow Oberlin alum has made quite a name for herself as a young singer. I haven't really heard her since 2003, but I was amazed by the fact that she sounds virtually the same, but so much stronger. This reminded me that she has always been an extreme talent. As Hermia, she showed strong vocal prowess and commanding acting chops. It was impressive.

So, whether or not you're "into" opera, might I suggest you take the time to have the experience? It is unique and you won't get it elsewhere. I personally think it is a necessary treat.

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