The list of opera performances Andrew and I attended over the last year is, once again, a very short one. Andrew and I attended only two opera performances since I last updated this list in July of last year:
Ludwig Von Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, performed by Opera Boston
Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca”, performed by Boston Lyric Opera
Opera is a dying art form—and, further, it appears to have entered its decadent phase. Most opera performances I have experienced have tended more to destroy the works rather than illuminate them. This phenomenon suggests that neither organizations presenting opera performances nor persons attending opera performances maintain confidence in the continued validity of the art form. The situation will not change until a genius composer arises, and transforms and regenerates the art form. No such figure is on the horizon.
In any case, it is a matter of indifference to me. I have never experienced a thrilling opera performance, and I do not expect to anytime soon. Opera is an art form not well-practiced in the current age.
Andrew and I have earmarked two upcoming Minnesota Opera presentations as of some interest to us: Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” and Massenet’s “Werther”. It is possible that we may also attempt to catch Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. The other two Minnesota Opera productions scheduled for next season—Donizetti’s “Lucia Di Lammermoor” and a new opera about the Christmas truce between British soldiers and German soldiers in 1914—elicit no interest from us.
I actually rather enjoyed the performances of “Fidelio” and “Tosca” we attended last year. I enjoyed “Fidelio” and “Tosca”, not because of the productions or performances, which were not good, but because the works themselves were so strong. I can envision thrilling productions and performances of both operas—and both operas certainly come alive on disc if not in the theater (at least under current conditions prevailing in the world’s opera houses).