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Hot summer opera

Trovatore Gearing up for Nickel City Opera's production of Verdi's "Il Trovatore," I found this video of Valerian Ruminski, the NCO chief, singing a scene from Act I  with Opera de Montreal.

Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

This performance is really impressive! Ruminski sells the music. He sings it as if it the most important thing in the world and as if he feels every word. The video is of a concert performance -- but he is in the character. In the moment. In the zone.

I am just thinking this off the top of my head but it seems to me that this aria, this song, whatever you want to call it, sort of sets the stage for the ominous action to come. A lot depends on the intensity a singer brings to it. If you just flip it off as if it's nothing, it makes the story trivial. If you give it musical and psychological depth, it becomes something thrilling.

It also seems to me that the great challenge of "Il Trovatore" is to make it dark and thrilling, not convoluted and ridiculous. "Trovatore" has a twisted plot which makes it an irresistible target for jokes. It was the opera at the center of the Marx Brothers' "A Night At the Opera," which says all you need to know about that.

This cool preview from London's Royal Opera House gives an idea of the opera's melodramatic elements. Wow. It also makes me want to see the show!

You need careful direction for a successful "Il Trovatore." You need great singers and total commitment. Which makes me think: If the rest of Ruminski's team at Nickel City Opera follows his lead, this production should be a good one.

Plan ahead, because summer is a busy time! Nickel City Opera stages "Il Trovatore" at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda at 8 p.m. June 24 and 2:30 p.m. June 26.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman



Music | Theater
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