Joyce Castle as Julia Child
Bon Appétit! by Lee Hoiby, the one act opera about Julia Child, streamed today from Des Moines Metro Opera. It's presented with dinner.
Here is the official menu for the evening, provided by the chefs at the Iowa Culinary Institute:
Chilled Vichyssoise; Pissaladière; Asperges et Tomates en Vinaigrette; Suprêmes de Volaille aux Champignons; Boeuf Bourguignon; Salmon Choulibiac; Cheese Soufflé with essence of Truffle; Ratatouille; Rice Pilaf with Summer Vegetables; Le Gâteau au Chocolat ‘Eminence Brune’; Pain au Levain.
It may not be possible to describe this. The accompaniment is on the piano. The musical style can be described as modern recitative. "If you have a self-cleaning kitchen like mine," she says. This is because invisible gremlins scurry around and fix any problems. In Julia's version we never saw them.
It is utterly charming, a bit more manic than Julia herself, but loads of fun. She whips her egg whites into perfect peaks. It runs 30 minutes like a real television show. They're putting it on YouTube, so look for it.
I have recently begun to complain about the absence of American opera on streaming platforms, so take advantage of this rare opportunity. It's coming to Opera Parallèle in the Bay Area in the new year.
Apparently Julia Child is relatively unknown outside the United States. Besides being a television star, her main claim to fame was that she translated European recipes into the measuring systems used in the US.