Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Medium

This is an illustration done for The Medium, an Opera written by Gian Carl Menotti. Florida Opera Theater is staging this opera in a private home here in Orlando several times this month. Terry and I used to attend the opera regularly. The Opera went bankrupt and closed shop several years ago. It is nice to see opera making its way back thanks to the grassroots efforts of Florida Opera Theater. Frank McClain is directing the production and I hope to sketch several rehearsals. Great art forms never die.

The opera is about a psychic medium, Madame Flora who is a fraud and drinks too much. She used her own daughter, Monica, to trick a woman into believing her is the woman's dead child speaking from the other side. Flora took in a mute servant boy named Toby, but she is often enraged with him. Toby and Monica are attracted to each other, which becomes evident as they play a game of dress-up together. At a second seance, Flora seems to legitimately hear voices. The experience frightens her. She blames Toby and is infuriated that he doesn't confess. As with many operas, there are tragic consequences. The fact that all the songs are in English makes the opera very accessible.

Besides the exclusive residential productions, the show will be staged at the Orlando Repertory Theater on December 3rd at 7:30pm and December 4th at 2:30pm. You can get tickets at floperatheater.org or call 407 718-4365.

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