Posts Tagged ‘opera sj’

It’s time to prepare for 2017-2018 Opera San Jose!

Opera San Jose has been busy preparing for its new season, and it’s time for us to start marking our calendars.  Opening night is September 9, and the first show is Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Thinking himself worldly and experienced, Don Alfonso decides to relieve his young friends, Ferrando and Gugliemo, of their faith in sexual fidelity. He challenges them to a bet, promising that within 24 hours their fiancées will prove unfaithful. Outraged, they accept, but find the challenge too painfully revealing and too difficult to withstand. Dressed in clown’s clothes, these young men break their own hearts and the hearts of their fiancées. A comedy that is a tragedy underneath is the perfect stuff for the uncanny genius of Mozart, so clearly revealed in this dazzling score.

There will be only six performances of this amazing show at the California Theatre, so check your calendar and buy your tickets now! Prices range from $10 for students, ages 25 and younger with a current student ID, and $56 to $176 for adults. Box office phone: 408-437-4450 or go to operasj.org.

Can’t make the show? Check out the preview!
Così fan tutte Preview: August 29, 2017 from 12 – 1 p.m., California Theatre, 345 S. First Street in  downtown San José; Free vocal preview with members of the cast. For information, call 408-437-4450.

For opera beginners (and pros!) there’s never a need to feel like a novice:
Introduction to Opera
: General Director Larry Hancock will present a free 45-minute talk to ticket holders about the opera at the California Theatre before each performance of Così fan tutte. The talk begins at 6:30pm prior to evening performances and at 1:30pm prior to Sunday matinees. No reservations required.  

Così fan tutte
Opera San Jose
September 9 thru September 24
California Theatre
345 S. First Street, San Jose

The Opera Novice goes to TOSCA

But this time I took a friend who was more familiar with opera!  And she thought it was beautiful.

Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste as the fiery opera diva in Puccini's passionate, political thriller Tosca at Opera San José. Photo by Chris Ayers

The story of Tosca is a tragedy of grand proportions:  there are tortured political prisoners, executions, shattered romances, and the tragic death of almost every major character.  Even the set designs are dark and gloomy, though still rich and sumptuous.  But to me, the novice, it seemed that this opera was much more about the singing and the music than the story.  While this might be good news for the seasoned opera lover, it was a little difficult for me to pay attention.  My loss, absolutely.

But there is nothing about Tosca to complain about.  The music really was beautiful, perfection as always at Opera San Jose, and the singing too was amazing.  This was my first time seeing Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste (Tosca) in a role and she was certainly a treat.  Her huge expressive eyes made her appear vulnerable and childlike, however Tosca really was anything but.  I loved her voice and the petulant way she directed her lover to repaint the eyes of a portrait on the church wall.  Jean-Baptiste also gives Tosca a certain ferocious quality, and a will to get done whatever is required.  Tosca is quite the tragic heroine.

I thought the singing and music were beautiful as well, but Tosca might be less newbie-friendly than my previous two operas.  It is slightly less exciting or overtly entertaining.  On the other hand, it seemed the audience of opera aficionados was much happier with Tosca than with the previous two operas.  My guest, the opera-lover, was overjoyed to finally see this opera, but I was just not so excited about this one as I have been with the others.  Both of these summations can be correct.

My recommendation for this one:  Opera fans should absolutely go see it!  The knowledgeable opera critics I have read appear to love it and as far as my untrained ear could tell it was fabulous.  My fellow Opera Newbies might want to wait for the next show:  The Barber of Seville. I am sure that one will be a delight for us all!  (But don’t let me stop you — go see it and report back your own opinion!)

Tosca
by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Based on the drama
La tosca by Victorien Sardou
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
November 13 – 28, 2010
California Theatre

345 South 1st Street, San Jose
Ticketing Information

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