A friend invited us to the Dallas Opera; for weeks, I anticipated seeing the whole production that includes a favorite aria: Nessun Dorma. I came to love the music from a YouTube performance by Paul Potts. No, my grasp of opera is at best, limited.
Doug printed out the libretto – and I read up on the narrative and wondered how such a grim story could produce such wonderful melodies. Turandot and all the characters had serious issues! It would never make a good Disney movie. Even though the guy got the girl – what a guy, and what a girl! Talk about dysfunction!
Unfortunately, I read the review of the first night's performance shortly before we were supposed to leave for the matinee – the critic in the Dallas Morning News; Scott Cantrell was not enthusiastic, describing many points in the production and performance that went over my head – but his comments dulled my enthusiasm. My impression was now that it would be incompetent and substandard.
Perhaps it was on the night he saw it; maybe that production was disappointing – but the performance we saw was charming – more than competent – and enjoyable. (As long as I didn’t think about the meaning of the words that were being sung.) In Italian, the words sounded mighty, noble, romantic – thrilling. Reading them in English, I kept thinking – “Seriously, did she just say that?”
All in all, my first opera experience was wonderful, nonetheless. While I can’t say I will become an aficionado -- I admire the talent and discipline of so many artists and musicians who managed to engage our attention, while telling a tale of betrayal, revenge, murder, suicide and narcissism. It was like “Dallas” in Italian.