Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Iolanta Review by the Wagnerian

Dearest Opera Lovers,

Greetings from the humble pen of the Wagnerian!

Those of you that have followed my previous critiques know that I usually begin my writings by describing the performance while offering my opinion as to which parts where the strongest and which parts needed some form of improvement. It would be futile for me to go into detail concerning this Saturday’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s last opera “Iolanta” which he finished composing barely ten months before he passed away from this earth and into the pantheon of the greatest composers ever lived. Only by attending the performance on Saturday, March 21 at Kentucky Center's Whitney Hall, one could understand the full effect this offering had for the Louisville audience.

I have to admit, I love Opera more than life itself; I live, I breathe, I inhale into the deepest parts of my existence pulsating, invigorating, seductive opera…just like the finest perfume draped gracefully on the silky skin of a lovely lady. However, I always thought that opera concerts were not to my full liking and taste. How can one take away the theatrics, the costumes and stage grandeur of opera and expect the same pleasing effect? Thus, I entered Saturday’s performance with the same mindset…only to be absolutely transformed for life. I will never, EVER again feel that opera concerts are the red headed step child of this performing medium. On the contrary, Kentucky Opera presented an amazingly tight cast of talented performers with a brilliant collaboration between their own studio artists, visiting distinguished soprano from Canada (Anna Shafajinskaia) and distinguished cast from the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and the United States. The Louisville Orchestra performed in top notch fashion (Bravo Maestro Mester – he possessed such grace, control and power), the Louisville Chorus charmed with its presence (Bravo to David Roth for those of you who were paying attention!!) and the Louisville audience showed its appreciation with cheers and loud applause. I personally acquired quite a hoarse throat at the end from the continuous bravo’s that were rolling out of my mouth. I do not need to go into detail concerning each one of the performers individually; I am sure you will read about it in the Courier Journal. I would like to urge you that if the review is excellent please believe it fully; but if not take it with a grain of salt (with no ill will towards our distinguished critic Mr. Adler who most of the time I do not see eye to eye with).

The applause was deafening and continued over and over again; at the end of each aria, at the end of the concert and during the reception. I am thirsty for more and I hope that Kentucky Opera will present another brilliant opera concert this coming year (make sure you keep this coming David). The people of Louisville have spoken louder than I can ever print with this pen (or should I say keyboard?). BRAVO, BRAVO and BRAVO again!! Thank you to Kentucky Opera executive director David Roth and its staff for having the vision to bring such brilliant performances to our city. Bravo to our studio artists for their tenacity and brilliant talent (we shall miss the ones who are departing-best of luck to your new endeavors and come back to visit your friends). Bravo to those of you who continue to support great art such as our Kentucky Opera company and push it to thrive towards new horizons…together we can and shall overcome obstacles presented by this economic crisis and continue to make our society better through art, through my greatest love – OPERA!!

Remember to buy season tickets for the coming sensational performances and I shall see you where voice meets theater, where theater meets music, where music meets the soul. VIVA VOCE! Thank you Kentucky Opera for a season that I will never forget and for tears that have been forged on my cheeks and in my heart forever!!

Christos “The Wagnerian” Dimitriadis

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