Monday, June 14, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Bride zilla in A2
Arbor Opera takes on moor" fits a style known as hel canto,
Donizetti's 'Lucia di which means "beautiful singing"
in Italian. Bel canto opera, which
Lammermoor' demands a masterful control of the
voice, couples long and seemingly
By JOE CADAGIN breathless lines of lyric singing with
For the Daily rapid-fire coloratura, a type of vocal
ornamentation. When it premiered
We've all heard of modern-day in 1883, Donizetti's "Lucia" was the
"bridezillas" driven over the edge pinnacle of this style, and it still
by the stress of marriage. Fortu- serves as one of its best examples.
nately, none "Bel canto is all about the singers,"
of them have Lucia di said conductor Warren Puffer Jones,
ever stabbed a Ph.D. student at the University.
the groom "So it's important for them to have
to death on Thursday,Fridayand a sense of freedom in their singing
their wed- Saturday at7:30 p.m., that really can highlight their voice
ding night. Sundayat2p.m. and highlight the way they sing
But this is through the lines."
exactly what Lydia MendelssohnTheatre In addition to their musical sing-
opera's very Tickets from$15 er-conductor collaboration, Holst
own "bri- and Jones also lead an offstage rela-
dezilla" does in Gaetano Donizetti's tionship as husband and wife. Joint
"Lucia di Lammermoor." Arbor enterprises between spouses are
Opera Theatre will present a double- not unheard of in opera. In fact, one
cast production of this gory classic of the most important recordings
starting Thursday. of "Lucia" was made by legendary
"Lucia di Lammermoor" is based soprano Dame Joan Sutherland and
on a Gothic romance novel by Sir her husband, conductor Richard
Walter Scott, which takes place in Bonynge.
17th century Scotland. The story "It's really exciting to do this show
centers on two rival clans and their with Kelly," Jones said, "even apart
struggle for power. Amidst this feud- from the fact that we're married, just
ing, leading lady Lucia falls in love because she's a terrific artist and it's
with Edgardo, her brother Enrico's great to collaborate."
mortal enemy. When Enrico forces Although Donizetti's opera was
her into marrying another man, originally set in 1600s Scotland,
Lucia is driven to lunacy and com- Arbor Opera's production will not
mits the unspeakable act. include any kilts or bagpipes. In fact,
"In the end it's too much for her their production has been updated
to handle," said soprano Kelly Holst, to World War II-era London and
n rnn bmiof the S rhn of m- --c of IQ40 rni- ad
"We liked the sense of wartime
in the 1940s - of there being an
urgency to the motives of the male
characters," Jones said. "You can
understand that these men might be
feeling pressures from the outside
world and they're sort of turning
those pressures on Lucia."
As a college-town opera compa-
ny, Arbor Opera Theatre provides
opportunities for budding young
singers to jumpstart their operatic
careers. Many of the artists are grad-
uates or students of the University.
By featuring these newcomers, the
company gives Ann Arbor audiences
the chance to see quality, profes-
sional productions without having to
leave their own city.
For people curious as to whether
or not they would enjoy opera, Jones
stressed the accessibility of the art
form as a powerful expression of the
"I think what's really great about
opera is that in general it has very dis-
tilled emotions - it's very human,"
Jones said. "Whereas modern mov-
ies are often about what happens ...
opera is about what people feel.
"My one piece of advice I give to
people who are coming to operas for
the first time is: Don't expect things
to happen," he added. "If you expect
things to happen you'll be disap-
pointed because not a whole lot hap-
pens in terms of action.
"But there's a lot of emotional
content. And that I think is very
easily appreciated by almost any-
Liam Neeson has a big gun.
ByKAVI PANDEY route. The film, based on the TV
DailyFilm Editor show that ran from 1983 to 1987,
features extravagant action, clever
When the Hollywood Creative one-liners and a great cast that
Machine is running on fumes seems to be having an absolute blast
(which, let's be - everything that made the show
honest, is always), *k*j so beloved. And in the likely chance
the '80s remake is that you haven't seen the source
always a good fail- The A-Team material, it's still a solid time at the
safe option. Audi- cinema.
ences are sure to and Rave
come, as there's a
strong nostalgia 20th Century Fox
factor for those
who loved the material in its origi-
nal incarnation. But the question
remains - can the carefree pleasure
of iconic '80s entertainment be rep-
licated in this post-9/11 world? The
people behind 2006's "Miami Vice"
obviously didn't think so, abandon-
ing the original TV show's fun and
flair for grittiness and emotional
But thank the heavens that 2010's
"The A-Team" didn't go the "Vice"
Even Jessica Biel
can't ruin this
First, a gold star must be given to
whoever cast the fine gentlemen of
"The A-Team." Liam Neeson contin-
See A-TEAM, Page 10
a recenr alumnus or tme )cnooi or
Music, Theatre & Dance, who will
portray the title character on Friday
and Sunday. "She caves pretty easily,
being enforced by her brother, and
that drives her mad."
On their wedding night, a crazed
Lucia pulls a knife on the groom she
was forced to wed and brutally mur-
ders him. Onstage, she interrupts
her own wedding party wearing her
bloodstained wedding gown and
sings her famous mad scene. This
20-minute aria is a veritable vocal
fireworks display and one of the most
famous scenes in opera.
"There are moments when (Lucia)
is happy in the mad scene," Holst
said. "And then there are moments
when she is terrified, and there are
moments when she doesn't know
what is going on. When you play
them onstage, you have to be really
careful that those moments are
Musically, "Lucia di Lammer-
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A staple of the bel canto style, "Lucia" requires strong vocal chops