JT's Blog

Things that interest me, things that happened to me, things that I like, even some things that I don't like...

Silent Night at Opera Philadelphia

During the pre-performance lecture some cast members were still rehearsing the battle scene.

Just want to add a quick note that I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's matinee performance of the opera Silent Night.

I attended the pre-performance lecture, which was helpful, as it filled in a lot of details of the plot that I had missed when watching the movie.

But it was the performance itself that really grabbed me.

The opera opens with a prologue set in an opera house in Germany where a performance of a Mozartian opera is in progress. As if to let the audience know that, yes, this is a 21st century work, the orchestra begins with a mild dissonance before segueing into a devilishly clever pastiche of a Mozart work.

Silent Night Curtain Calls. I had a reasonably good view from the Amphitheater, though there were a number of intimate scenes on the far stage right that I couldn't see.

The score by Kevin Puts is accessible on a first hearing and is filled with other pastiches of a Schubert lied and both German and Scottish folk songs, but it was the orchestral interludes that I found especially appealing.

The cast is wonderful and gives a solid performance, and they obviously know their roles as most of them have performed them about a year and a half ago in Minnesota.

The staging is nothing short of magnificent, certainly the best opera staging that I've ever seen here in Philadelphia. The battle scene in particular was riveting.

Three more performances. Highly recommended. I'm thinking of going back for seconds.