Mar 19, 2003

Last night I went to Jordan Hall to see the Teatro Lyrico d’Europa for the first time, performing a semi-staged Boris Godunov in the Rimsky-Korsakov version. Since Richard Dyer has been effusive in his praise for this group over the last few years, I decided to give it a go, and being a Russian opera with a primarily Russian castI (with principals from the Bolshoi Opera) didn’t hurt. It was a very good performance, and the singer who did Boris, whose name I won’t even attempt to remember, was extremely compelling, with lots of that full, booming Russian bass sound, but without sounding too nasal or just shouting, as you hear sometimes from his countrymen at the Met. The rest of the cast was mostly excellent, also, and did remarkably well just to be heard over the full orchestra. The volume generated by chorus, which was only around 30 people, was also impressive, speaking as a former chorus member. The venue of Jordan Hall for an opera means a more intimate experience, and it would’ve been particularly thrilling to hear this from the first few rows of the main floor, but there are really no bad seats there, so the amount of sound being generated versus the size of the hall meant for a very involving musical experience. I wish the surtitles were better timed (and not run from a noisy slide projector). I wish there had been more people there (couldn’t have been more than 400 in the audience). But otherwise it was a great concert. Due to the vagaries of scheduling my nights out around Beth’s nights out, I’m actually going to two operas in one week, with the next being Tosca on Friday.

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