We were enchanted. I go to the Lyric Opera in Chicago once at year at best, so I am not an afficionado. Still, I know what I like and this was fun. The rooms were beautiful and we were guests in the Palace and felt that we were. In the opening scene in a drawing room where a butler served champagne to the man and woman en scene, my companion and I were also served a glass of champagne each by the butler. Later, when he brought in cookies, he served them to others. This transformed the experience for not only us, but everyone in the audience who recognized that they were not invisible but part of the experience.
Because of the size of the rooms and the intimacy, the singers did not require any amplification. They seemed like real people having an actual experience that we witnessed. Before attending the performance I read some of the criticism regarding the quality of the voices. I have to disagree both as to quality and relevance. The Violinist, cellist, and violist were wonderful. I could have listened to them all night without vocalists. The singers were strong, but the context and experience changed everything. This production of an opera is palatable even for people who usually do not have the patience for opera. Getting up and moving from room to room and getting breaks with casual and short offerings of wine were lovely ways to lighten the experience.
(The children in attendance were bored, however. I would not bring my kids.)
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