In getting ready for the efficiency, I learn a preview report within the NY Instances about an upcoming Lakmé efficiency in 1984 by the New York Metropolis Opera; the piece is by renown opera critic, Will Crutchfield, and its title begs the query I increase above, “Is It Time As soon as Extra for Lakmé”. He famous that at the moment the opera had not had a New York staging since 1947. Lakmé was thought of a star car for coloratura sopranos. The opera had a run of recognition on the Met within the thirties and forties because of the legendary Lily Pons; Lakmé was a favourite function of hers. The director of the New York Metropolis Opera on the time was Beverly Sills, additionally a legendary soprano. In her youth, she had been thrilled by a Lily Pons’ efficiency as Lakmé; but she indicated that she noticed the opera as “an ensemble piece”, not only a showpiece for coloratura sopranos. Mr. Crutchfield agreed that it’s not solely a task for the lead singer however its effectiveness in telling the story will depend on the expertise of all of the performers. He said, “Lakmé is a singers’ opera”, plural. Agreed; I’d additionally add that when carried out as such, as WCO did, it’s an opera followers’ opera.
The Fan Expertise: Washington Live performance Opera carried out Lakmé on Might 22 of their common venue, Lisner Auditorium. The efficiency of Lakmé ran three hours with a twenty-minute intermission between every of three acts; the opera was in French with super-titles in English. WCO solely provides one efficiency of every of their operas. Scheduled for his or her 2022-2023 season is Donizetti’s Roberto Devereaux on December 4 and Verdi’s Macbeth on March 3; the March 3 efficiency is on a Friday, not the same old Sunday efficiency. My hope is that by these performances, the masks can be pointless and refreshments can once more be provided throughout intermissions, however remember to examine what, if any, COVID necessities are in impact on the date of a efficiency.
Peter Russell, Common Director of Vocal Arts DC, introduced the pre-opera discuss and offered program notes. Mr. Russell additionally introduced a one-hour lecture on Lakmé within the free Opera Gems collection. His lectures are impressively detailed and informative, with samples of the music to be heard.
In my expertise, all of the seats in Lisner Auditorium are superb for viewing the efficiency, however the sound might be higher in direction of the middle of the auditorium. Parking on the road across the auditorium is catch as catch can; should you discover a spot, the meters are normally turned off on Sunday, however remember to learn the indicators! Metro is 2 blocks away. WCO has a customer internet web page with instructions and parking information, useful to find lot parking.