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In Performance: Season Openers

In today's Washington Post:

With "Barber," WNO Has A Field Day, by Anne Midgette.

BSO Kicks Off the Season in Style, by Charles T. Downey.

Other perspectives:

The Washington Times on "Barber of Seville."

The Baltimore Sun on the BSO opening-night gala.

By Anne Midgette  |  September 14, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
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I discovered today that my 'date' for tonight's Barber is an opera virgin. Considering the recent discussions on your blog, I'll be very interested indeed in his response.

Posted by: ianw2 | September 14, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope you'll post about what he thought. I'd be really curious to hear a newbie's reaction to this production in particular. For some reason, I minded its inanity less than some other people who were in attendance; but (as I intimated in my review) I was inwardly cringing to think about how it might come across a sophisticated first-timer.

Posted by: MidgetteA | September 14, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

He said he enjoyed it but I'm not sure if he was just being polite. At any rate, he wasn't totally turned off. He found the slowed down slapstick of Fredda ed immobile genuinely funny, whereas I found it 'opera funny' and thought that musically it didn't feel wild enough. I was worried he'd get bored in the overlong first act, but this didn't seem to be an issue at all.

Interestingly his biggest question afterwards was why they keep repeating the same line over and over again. This seemed a bigger obstacle to comprehension than "why are they singing all the time". I'd never really considered this.

Anyway, I've suggested we see the sequel next year with Marriage, so that I suppose will be the true test.

Posted by: ianw2 | September 15, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I've been to four live operas (Turandot, Dido and Aeneas, abridged Hansel and Gretel, Peter Grimes) and I'm going to Barber tomorrow. I am excited.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | September 16, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Andrew, didn't you tell us that you attended, and enjoyed, the Washington National Opera's outstanding recent production of Janacek's Jenufa?

We had you down (and still do) as a budding twentieth century opera fan and advocate!

Posted by: snaketime1 | September 16, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Oops - I heard "Jenufa" on record and enjoyed it. I must have mistyped. I wanted to go see it at WNO but was unable to make any of the dates.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | September 16, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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