Saturday, April 27, 2019

Two Operas about Women

Conductor:  Ryan Murray (new opera theater director)
Stage Director:  Gia Battista
Piano:  Renee Harris

California State University Sacramento performed two operas last night. 

Game of Chance by Seymour Barab

First knitter:  Taylor Graham
Second knitter:  Katie Thorpe
Third knitter:  Valerie Loera
The representative:  Justin Ramm-Damron

This is the second time for this opera at Sac State.  So what is the attraction?  Three women are knitting their lives away and wish for something else.  The attraction is that each of them gets a nice solo scene.  A man comes to take them away to their dream.  At the end they are discontented and wish they had asked for more.  As a person who became a systems analyst in her 40s, this seems absurd.  Why settle?  There's not a lot that can be done with this opera.


Amelia Goes to the Ball by Gian-Carlo Menotti

Amelia:  Angela Yam
The Friend:  Valerie Loera
The Husband:  Michael Carey
The Lover:  Aaron Gallington
The Chief of Police:  Justin Ramm-Damron
First Maid:  Taylor Graham
Second Maid:  Monica Serrano

This is fun.  There is nothing in this opera that is actually about a ball.  It's all about getting there.  At the start the maids are helping Amelia dress while her friend urges her to hurry.  I have included the above so that all may see what a fichu looks like.  Amelia searches for hers without success, thus causing the delay.

Before she finds it husband arrives home.  He accuses her of having a lover, which she admits on the condition that he will take her to the ball.  He lives upstairs.  Husband goes looking and lover enters.  The Lover was played very much for laughs.  Aaron Gallington was an amusing physical comic with lots of odd looking gestures.  The opera ends with husband knocked out and taken to the hospital, lover accused of theft and taken off by the police, and finally with Amelia going off to the ball with the Chief of Police.  We have to assume that all is well.

This opera is a vehicle for the woman who sings Amelia, in our case Angela Yam who was impressive.

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