Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Anonymous Lover free streaming performance through November 29

I had little success watching the premiere livestream last night because it kept stopping, so I was happy to watch the archived performance this morning. you can access it through this webiste.

The opera, written in French in 1780, has a lighthearted and entertaining plot. The dialog is in English, and the arias, duets, and ensemble numbers are in French (so nifty to hear what we have come to think of as an Italian-style opera in French). There is also some lovely ballet music, accompanied by some wonderful dancing. The production is rather remarkable, considering the fact that the singers are not in the same physical spaces at the same times.

The singing is spectacular, the orchestral playing is excellent, the acting is pretty good, the direction is remarkably effective considering the circumstances, but it is the music itself that steals my heart. The immediate comparison is to Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges's friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but in many ways I feel that Mozart should be the one compared to Bologne.

Watch the video for yourself. The production is 90 minutes long. You can scroll through the dialog, but don't miss the wedding ballet.

I enjoyed reading James Conlon's program note, and imagine you would too.

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