Saturday, August 24, 2013

In short there's simply not a more congenial spot......

Photo:  Mikey Tarts

I can't get enough of Glimmerglass Festival. I love the Glimmerglass Opera, I adore the Alice Busch Opera Theater at Glimmerglass, and I think Francesca Zambello can do no wrong.

I came to see the Young Artist performance of Camelot on August 23. At the close I tweeted, "Nothing will make me like Camelot as a show, but I'll be darned if @GOpera (Glimmerglass Opera) and @SuperGreek (Sharin Apostolou) didn't make me cry this time." And it's true.

Sharin Apostolou
I stand by all the statements in my post about Camelot a few weeks ago--weak direction, weak show itself, characters who lose their appeal as we get to know them, and saccharine music. When I first wrote about this production, I wrote about the visual beauty of the design and the extremely enthusiastic and able ensemble of Glimmerglass Young Artists. That hasn't changed.

What I failed to note sufficiently at the time was the talent of the musical theater veterans who were part of the cast. In particular I must mention the brilliance of young Jack Noseworthy, who played Mordred, Arthur's illegitimate son who arrives in Act II to stir up trouble. It is clear he has played this role several times and is a veteran musical theater actor. As directorial weakness made the show fizzle, I was quite grateful Mordred showed up to breathe some life into the flailing beast. His rousing number "Fie on goodness!" might be considered the most successful number in the show. I must also mention Wynn Harmon, who acted charmingly the dual roles of Merlin and Pellinore.

Wayne Hu as Sir Sagramore, ensemble member
Danny Lindgren, Clay Hilley as Sir Dinaden,
Noel Bouley as Sir Lionel
and Jack Noseworthy as Mordred.
Photo: Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival.
I adore Sharin Apostolou, Guinevere in the Young Artist cast of Camelot, and seen before in these pages. Dear Sharin was the standout, easily the most likable performer on stage, and one of the few who imbued her character with humanity and authenticity. In spite of the production, she made the stage come alive when she was on it.

While at Glimmerglass I also took in the final performance of Der Fliegende Holländer, which I'd seen and reviewed earlier in the season.  This opera was even more passionate, even more beautiful than in my initial impression.  Everything I wrote earlier about the production holds true in my estimation. Ryan McKinny and Melody Moore deserved the roars of approval they received at the curtain call. The chorus and the dancers, along with choreographer Eric Sean Fogel, deserve special mention after special mention.  (And I'll be darned if Sharin wasn't prominently featured in front row, center, of the sewing scene, and as the Steersman's girlfriend in Act III!)

The last performance of King for a Day, however, seemed to lack some of the energy it had in the early performance I'd viewed. Comic timing was a bit off and there was less dazzle to divert attention from libretto weaknesses.  I do believe the cast and chorus must have been subjected to  Knute Rockne-style halftime speech at intermission, however, because the second half was much better than the first, up to the standard of the earlier performance I'd seen.  And yes, Sharin was featured quite prominently in this opera, as well. Glimmerglass did not include her by name in the program, but The New York Times mentioned her by name in their review of all four Glimmerglass operas. Quite favorably, I might add.

I'm sorry that the Glimmerglass season is drawing to a close. As I'm sorry the summer itself is drawing to a close. Soon enough we'll be looking back on these beautiful, sunny days in Cooperstown with fond memories and with eager anticipation of going back to see more opera next season!

One more rave for the Overlook Mansion B&B, a short drive from Glimmerglass in charming Little Falls. Please click the link and check them out, and give them some business!

1 comment:

Dr.B said...

Hi. I went one year, the Orfeo season, and enjoyed it very much.