Thursday, April 25, 2013

Don Giovanni - A High Performance Vehicle

The Madison Opera Cast Of Don Giovanni - A Well Oiled Machine
For those who have never experienced opera, it is a truly amazing art form simply based on the fact that there are so many moving parts that work perfectly together, and so much opportunity for things to go horribly wrong.

Maybe that is why I enjoy it so much... Kind of like NASCAR...amazing precision and timing. And hopefully no crashes (and if you watch racing for the crashes, you probably aren't interested in opera, so you can stop reading now).

When it comes to Madison Opera and Madison Symphony Orchestra, I have enough experience with them to know they will be at peak performance. The singers on stage, the choreography and an elaborate set make for an event that is truly something that needs to be seen to be believed. So many people coming together - each at the top of their game. Like my race analogy, all the moving parts of a high performance car working together for a smooth, fast and flawless ride. And trust me, I have seen plenty of jalopies in my day.

Plenty of Moving Parts - Working Together In Harmony
I was privileged to be a part of the "Blog It / Tweet It" team that Madison Opera put together to cover the final dress rehearsal for Don Giovanni. What struck me immediately was the enormity of the production - the stage was spectacular.

The lights went down and maestro Joseph Mechavich along with the members of Madison Symphony Orchestra started the beautiful prelude that sets the mood for Mozart's masterpiece. Mechavich also provided his skills on the Harpsichord, which added another dimension to the sound.

Kelly Markgraf is Don Giovanni. I don't know Mr. Markgraf personally (although he was very cordial backstage) but I dare say he is not a scoundrel in real life. But this guy IS Giovanni on stage. He could easily seduce me, and I am married with 3 kids. Aside from his obvious looks and stage presence, his voice was wonderful, and that is the point of a lead in an opera, right? Markgraf is the whole enchilada! (well, maybe pizza pie, since this is Italian)
Kelly Markgraf IS Don Giovanni. Really.

The two "Donnas" as I like to call them also made a lasting impression on me. I suppose I have to admit that I am easily swayed by beautiful women who sing well. Call me weird! I truly enjoyed both Elizabeth Caballero and Caitlin Lynch in their respective roles. I am not one of those writers who will get too technical on you. I have a simple test of whether I think something is good. Does it sound good? And there were many times during the evening where I thought to myself "mmmm - that is such a sweet note..."

Rounding out this great cast were Matt Boehler, Nathan Stark, Wesley Rogers, Angela Mannino and John Arnold. I really should point out that they all have fantastic voices (most important in my book) and great stage presence. I would love to get into more detail, but let's face it - this is a blog, and you don't have the attention span if you read blogs. THEY ARE GOOD! GO SEE THIS! (Told you I like to keep things simple)

I thought the social interaction during the performance was a great idea on Madison Opera's part. Being able to tweet with the cast and other tweeters in real time during the performance was very unique. I hope that our activity during the dress rehearsal encourages those who may have been unfamiliar or unsure to give Don Giovanni a tumble.

And to the uninitiated out there, it would be hard to argue that Don Giovanni is a great first opera experience. This particular production from Madison Opera solidifies that claim, as it is solid musically and visually stunning. To our Fresco fans who have never sat through a traditional opera, this comes highly recommended.
Lot's 'O Drinking And Tomfoolery

You will only have two chances to see the spectacle that is Don Giovanni. Months of prep and rehearsal is condensed into only 2 performances. And they will be flawless. Like the winning car of the Daytona 500, well timed with a spectacular run to the finish.

Jeff Turk
Fresco Opera Theatre

Do Not Tempt Fate and Wait Until The Last Minute For Tickets

1 comment:

  1. Giant LOL at "He could easily seduce me, and I am married with 3 kids." Are you so easily swayed? You could be the next Zerlina! ;D