OperaDelaware’s ‘Amleto’ riveting
“Amleto” has been given a full production only once since a disastrous 1871 performance in Milan, after which the distraught composer withdrew it from the repertoire. What people heard then, you will hear tonight,
And it’s true rarely does an audience have the chance to experience a work that is old and yet totally new. For that reason, this OperaDelaware production is an important one, and it drew a worldwide audience to its near sold out opening night.
“Amleto” is the classic tale of Hamlet, prince of Denmark, whose world is cleft open after his father’s sudden death and his mother’s marriage to his uncle. Faccio’s rendition of Amleto’s ensuing heartbreak and bloody revenge, replete with ghostly apparitions and thwarted love, is filled with lush orchestral interludes that presage action or provide dramatic underscoring and fewer stand alone arias, operatic practices then uncommon.
And in another break from operatic traditions of the times, Boito’s libretto often uses near direct translations of the play’s famous poetry and soliloquies.
The majestic yet intimate Grand Opera House fits “Amleto” like a glove. E. Loren Meeker’s sumptuous production is set on steel scaffolds surrounding a central projection screen. The multiple levels designed by Peter Tupitza provide ample playing space for the opera’s 12 principal singers, 32 chorus members and 4 dancers, classically clad and arrayed in tableaux throughout the opera’s four acts.
Though the first act is overstuffed with chorus movement that can diffuse the focus, through the rest of the evening Meeker skillfully handles this very large company, moving them in and out of Driscoll Otto’s moody lighting. Otto also designed the evening’s adidas world cup boots evocative shape shifting projections, the first of which is the image of a Danish flag mottled with blood.
Amleto (Hamlet) was sung by tenor Joshua Kohl, whose thrilling rendition of Hamlet’s central soliloquy, “Essere o non essere! (To be or not to be!), brought down the house. The role demands exceptional singing adidas world cup boots and acting to power the Prince’s tempestuous trajectory, and Kohl delivered a characterization of both heft and heartbreak.
Sarah Asmar, as Amleto’s ill fated love Ofelia (Ophelia), gave a poignant performance, especially in a beautifully sung third act aria “Ahim! chi piange? (Alas! Who weeps?)” as she wades into a stream. The scene was a highlight of both performance and stagecraft: No fake river or slide into a stage adidas world cup boots trap here death was portrayed by a combination of shifting illumination and Asmar’s haunting physical change, leaving the audience hushed as Ofelia lay drowned in a pool of light.
Baritone Timothy Mix was commanding as the restless and relentless king Claudio (Claudius), who killed Amleto’s father and married his mother Geltrude (Gertrude). Mix was especially affecting in his aria “O nera colpa! (O black guilt!), seeking to feel repentance but unable to achieve it. Geltrude was given a fiery portrayal by mezzo soprano Lara Tillotson, and strong singing was the evening’s soccer stores online norm from all the principals, especially Matthew Vickers as Hamlet’s friend Laerte (Laertes) and Harold Wilson as the meddlesome courtier Polonio (Polonius).
Chorus Master Jeffrey Miller prepared and delivered a splendid group of singers who performed throughout the evening with clarity, strength and conviction.
Conducted soccer stores online by Maestro Barrese and composed of some of the region’s finest musicians, the 50 piece orchestra (with concertmaster Eliezer Gutman) plumbed this unfamiliar work with commitment, excitement and excellence.
The unwavering vision of OperaDelaware General Director Brendan Cooke and his staff as well as the passion of conductor Anthony Barrese to revive “Amleto” have led this old yet new work to Wilmington, resulting in a riveting and unforgettable evening adidas world cup boots soccer stores online.