Monday, August 11, 2008

Opera in Santa Fe

Just back from Santa Fe, where opera is the main attraction in the summertime. Here's what the stage of this magical indoor/outdoor theater looked like this past Saturday night, just before the curtain of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro." Anyone who saw Rameau's "Les Boreades" a few years back at BAM will remember the sea of flowers stuck into the stage, which were maniacally pulled out during the prologue. Similar plastic posies were put to great use in the Santa Fe Figaro, especially during the final "garden" scene, and during the overture the stage was plucked in a very genteel manner. Luxurious casting, including Mariusz Kwiecien and Luca Pisaroni as the Count and Figaro, respectively.

In addition to the Mozart, some Houston friends and I saw Handel's "Radamisto" and Kaija Saariaho's latest, "Adriana Mater," in its American première. I went expecting to like the Handel, and who can resist David Daniels, Laura Claycomb, and Heidi Stober, who all sang up a storm. The real surprise for me was the Saariaho work, which was riveting. The libretto (by Amin Maalouf) is both timely and poignant, and the music sensational. Highly recommended!

And it's a good thing the weather and hiking are so good in Santa Fe this time of year, because we did more than our fair share of eating! Are there any bad restaurants there?


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