my boat’s name is Musetta. If that name doesn’t ring a bell for you, here’s a hint: think opera. Still can’t place that name? Okay, I’ll tell you: Musetta is the heroine’s best friend in the Giacomo Puccini opera La Boheme. Unlike the heroine Mimi, who is weak and pathetic, Musetta is beautiful, vivacious, passionate, the pure embodiment of the pleasure principle. As she walks through the streets, men stop to gaze at her or shower her with attention. She has no guilt, and never apologizes. She is bigger than life.
And that’s what opera is all about; it’s the compilation of all human characteristics – the good, the bad, and the ugly – distilled into heroes and heroines, protagonists and “the bad guys.” The roles and the music are over-the-top magnificent, and that’s why we love it.
Well, some of us do. But for those who want to develop a better appreciation for this art form, the San Juan Community Theatre is bringing absolute top-notch opera productions to San Juan Island. Yes – Live via High Definition from the New York Metropolitan Theater and the London National Theater Group. If you’re going to try to understand opera, you might as well see the best.
How? By a generous grant that allowed the theatre to purchase new sound, satellite and projector equipment. SJCT joins more than 1,900 theaters in 64 countries that will record the live transmissions via a satellite feed and then present them to theater audiences.
“Our new high definition projector and the amazing sound upgrades bring the world stage into our community,” said SJCT Artistic Director Susan Williams. “Watching the most exciting talents in the world perform with the Met and National Theatre is an experience you won’t forget.”
The ticket price is a pittance compared to what you would pay at even a small-city opera house, and you won’t have to travel across the country to see these amazing productions. Catch Helen Mirren on Monday, September 9 in The Audience, and Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth on Monday, November 4th.
The whole line-up is exciting, and I’m personally going to try to see every one of them.
So what do you think? Give it a try, and I’ll see you at The Opera!
Our comments are open: what is your favorite opera and why?