Wednesday, May 21, 2014

[Opera] The Barber of Seville

I saw this a few weeks ago with the Carlsons at the Cobb Energy Center, performed by the Atlanta Opera company.  In short, it was FANTASTIC.  The venue was moderately nice as always, but the vocal quality of the performers was exceptional, particularly in the female lead, as was Basilio.  All were good of course, and Berta was particularly impressive, but the first two greatly stood out.  I wish it was still playing so I could recommend it, but at the least I'd check out other productions by the company.

The basic story is about a rich count who is in love with a beautiful shut in, hid by a psycho guardian who plans to marry her against her will.  The count enlists the help of the barber who is the city's dating service.  The Count dons various disguises to try and woo her, and chaos ensues.  This particular production was only 2 hours long and tightly edited but it worked very well.

It had been at least 20 years since I'd seen an Opera, the performance of "Faust" at BYU, which was quite good but this blew it away.  The addition of subtitles in a light box at the top helped quite a bit since I liked to know what they were saying.  After all, if a foreign film can have them, why not an Opera?

[Movie] Charade

This is an old time movie with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.  From a production stand point, you can clearly see that it's set in the 1960's, but thematically and acting wise it feels like a lot of Grant's earlier works.  The plot works well.  Short version: A bunch of folks are looking for some money from Hepburn's ex husband, and they believe that she is the only one who can get it for them, so they threaten her.  Grant normally plays good guys, but in this one it is hard to tell what his role is, and the potential villain suits him very well.

Mainly, seeing the chemistry between these two, despite the age difference, is worth the movie alone.  The supporting characters are a bit...well, supporting but these two are titans and easily steal the entire show. And the ending is quite delightful because just when you think they've run out of things to throw around in the plot, they hit you with more huge ones totally out of nowhere.

I highly recommend this movie.