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October 23, 2012


Richard Boyum

I promised a few days ago to report on the goings on at Canadian Opera Company. We did expect the locals to be surrounding the opera house with pitchforks and torches seeking out the production staff of Fledermaus. At first glance it seemed we were right! But it soon turned out that Saturday was the annual "Zombie Parade." Oh, those Toronto students!

Christopher Alden has had the audacity to rethink Die Fledermaus. He takes a Freudian look at the goings on and shockingly posits that the women of the piece can have "erotic drives as powerful as their husbands." Well, this certainly did not sit well with some newspaper writers and e-mail writers. But, imagine a Fledermaus that makes me think! And women with sexual feelings? Bravo!

I did not believe that I would ever see a Trovatore that would move me. But with this cast: Elza van den Heever...Armide in the Lyric Chicago production of Rinaldo, Ramon Vargas...Manrico as assured as ever, Russell Braun...di Luna, who has sung so many wonderful roles at COC...I will never forget his Wozzeck, and a newcomer for me Elena Manistina...a Russian with an immense voice, I heard it. Marco Guidarini was a gifted Verdi conductor.

It was great fun in Toronto and we made it back home in time to hear Ms. Goerke blow the collective minds of the Lyric audience in Chicago with another great performance in Elektra.

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