Saturday, April 23, 2016
Spring time marked the boisterous rebirth of Opera in Orlando. Opera Orlando presented The Impresario, which is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "comedy with music", followed by Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Poulenc's "fertile farce." A small orchestra was set up in the lower balcony. I went to the final dress rehearsal which had a small audience with friends and family.
Mozart's comedy was quite fun and director Eric Pinder did a fabulous job of modernizing the story so that it referenced Orlando. Two producers contemplated a small low budget opera. They admired the theater and even shot a selfie in the opulent theater. I liked that the ghost lamp remained on stage. A ghost light is put on stage when the theater is unoccupied. Superstition states that it allows ghosts which occupy the theater the opportunity to perform on t empty stage. This appeases the ghosts so they do not sabotage a production. To keep costs down, t he producers decide to stage a production with no set pieces. A diva entered from house left and walked up to the stage. She was an older well established performer who faced rumors that she could no longer hit the high notes. She performed a solo that was comically flamboyant and over the top. She demanded $5000 a performance and stormed off stage.
A theater patron, Deep Pockets, entered and offered a sizable donation if the producers would hire a female singer he had discovered. She turned out to be a bawdy burlesque performer who also demanded $5000 a performance. What followed us a hilarious battle of wills as the two female divas tried to out sing each other. This was a hilarious production that was sung and perform in English, so there us no need for subtitles.
The only hint of the second production, Les Mamelle de Tresias in my sketch, is the large balloon creature in the upper balcony. It had many appendage like an octopus and a snout that looks like a large inflated rubber. This creature would hoover over the audience at the end of Poulenc's farce about fertility. I plan to go back to do another sketch.
Mark your Calendar! There are two performances left. One is tonight, Saturday April 23rd at 7:30pm. The other is Sunday April 24 at 2 pm. Tickets cost between $10 to $66. You can call the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (445 South Magnolia Avenue Orlando FL) box office Monday through Friday 10am to 4pm. Saturday from noon to 4pm.