Theatre Thursdays: La Traviata and the Shadowbox

Last month I went to see the opera La Traviata because my friend was performing in its chorus. Now, I never used to like opera. I was annoyed with how difficult it is to understand the words opera singers are singing, even when they’re in English. And I had been negatively affected by the stereotype of the “fat lady in horns”, which is, I think, a very ugly way of singing.

Violetta and maids

Pictured: Not a fat lady in horns.
This is a picture of the main character from the production I actually saw.

Well, I don’t hate opera anymore.

For this production, the problem of translation was solved by the recent trend of “supertitling”, which is projecting translations of the singers’ lyrics above the stage (in this case, from the original Italian into English). And the style of singing was much more beautiful than what I had been expecting. As my opera singer friend explained to me later, opera spans a very wide range of history and musical styles, so it appears I have found one I like. But none of that is why I really loved this opera. More after the break! Continue reading

Theatre Thursdays: La bohème

It’s a strange thing to experience the source material when you’re already a fan of the adaptation. Reading Hamlet after watching The Lion King, or The Wizard of Oz or Mary Poppins books after watching their respective movies can be really weird. So it was for me when I saw La bohème, the opera on which RENT was based, for the first time last week.

 la Boheme Continue reading