Saturday, June 01, 2013

TPTBT (The Place to Be Tonight): Saturday, June 1

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Who: Opera Theatre of St. Louis
What: Puccini's Il Tabarro and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci
Where: The Loretto-Hilton Center
When: Tonight at 8 and running in rotating repertory through June 29
Why:  Jealousy!  Intrigue!  Violence!  Illicit sex!  No, it's not an episode of Jerry Springer, it's just an evening of verismo one-act operas.  The verismo school, as Ron Daniels points out in his program notes, embraced "[s]tories about real, ordinary men and women in the real world."  Except, of course, they sing some truly stirring music.  Besides, while the Parisian stevedores of Tabarro and the provincial touring circus performers of Pagliacci might have been familiar figures when these operas were written in 1918 and 1892, respectively, they are now sufficiently distant from us in time and space to become exotic again.  Whether that means they are still verismo or not is an interesting question, but I won't try to answer it here.

One very notable aspect of this production: it marks the OTSL conducting debut of our the Symphony's Ward Stare, a young conductor who is beginning to make a very big name for himself around the world.

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