BY ANNA BROOK
The Boston Lyric Opera opened its thirtieth season with a spectacular concert and a set of good deeds. On September 15, 2006, the company presented a medley of operatic favorites at its Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration Concert at the majestic Wang Theater.
During the week before the concert, the Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) was busy not only planning the event, but also reaching out to the community. The beginning of September saw the Interactive Artist Residency Program, in which singers performing in the Anniversary Concert visited schools and community centers throughout the Boston area to introduce children as well as adults to their music. The goal of the program was to educate the community about opera and to encourage children to explore their own musical talents.
On the night of the concert, Maestro Willie Anthony Waters led the orchestra, singers, and the audience on a tour of opera beginning and ending with selections from Verdi’s Aida. Immediately after Celeste Aida, bass Morris Robinson showed off his magnificent voice as Fiesco from Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.
Switching from tragedy to comedy, the cast sang several pieces from Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Baritone Earle Patriarco brought Figaro into the modern age to the amusement of the audience, whipping out a cell phone to take care of his clientele. Mr. Patriarco was equally delightful in his duet with Rosina, played by mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey. The two matched wits on stage, passing notes and figuring out how to arrange a meeting between Rosina and her suitor Lindoro.
Mr. Patriarco returned to the stage in a more tragic role in his duet from Puccini’s La Boheme with tenor Michael Hayes, as the men mourned the loss of their loved ones in one of the sadder scenes of the evening. The second half of the concert concluded with two pieces from Aida with soprano Lisa Daltirus in the title role. Ms. Daltirus, Mr. Hayes and the BLO chorus closed the concert with the final scene from Aida, evoking a standing ovation from the crowd. The mixture of comedy and tragedy kept the concert lively and entertaining. Each selection was masterfully performed and somehow the very different pieces came together to create a night of beautiful music.
Surprisingly, the evening’s program did not include many selections from the BLO’s upcoming season, which includes Puccini’s Madam Butterfly (Nov. 3-14), Verdi’s Masked Ball (Mar. 30-Apr. 10), and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (Apr. 27-May 8). However, this lack of preview performances can be easily remedied by purchasing tickets to the upcoming operas.
Anna Brook, 3L, loved that the concert included lots of Verdi.