Seattle Opera premiere of The Consul, an intriguing opera by Gian Carlo Menotti

Photo Act 3, scene 1 of Seattle Opera’s production of The Consul that opens at McCaw Hall on February 22, 2014. Courtesy of Seattle Opera © Elise Bakketun photo

Photo: Act 3, scene 1 of Seattle Opera’s production of The Consul that opens at McCaw Hall on February 22, 2014. Courtesy of Seattle Opera © Elise Bakketun photo

The Seattle Opera debut of the opera “The Consul” opens February 22nd and runs until March 7th. Personally, I was not very familiar with the opera, and I presumed that many of our readers may not have come across it, either. So, I have included a brief description of the opera and the composer along with some links to research further.

The Consul” is an opera in three acts with music and libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti, his first full-length opera. Its first performance was on March 1, 1950 in Philadelphia. The opera opened two weeks later in New York City where it enjoyed a successful opening run of nearly eight months. The debut at La Scala was in January 1951 and the opera won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music. For a synopsis of the plot, see this link: http://seattleopera.org/tickets/2013-2014/consul/synopsis.aspx

Gian Carlo Menotti was Italian-born in the town of Cadegliano-Viconago and although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship.

Photo: Lucille Beer as the Mother, Marcy Stonikas as Magda Sorel, and Michael Todd Simpson as John Sorel in Seattle Opera’s production of The Consul that opens at McCaw Hall on February 22, 2014. Courtesy of Seattle Opera © Elise Bakketun photo
Photo: Lucille Beer as the Mother, Marcy Stonikas as Magda Sorel, and Michael Todd Simpson as John Sorel in Seattle Opera’s production of The Consul that opens at McCaw Hall on February 22, 2014. Courtesy of Seattle Opera © Elise Bakketun photo

The main thread of the opera involves the travails of a devoted wife and mother who clashes with the bureaucracy of a nameless police state while trying to obtain an exit visa for her family. The suspenseful narrative surprises with several magical touches and is buoyed by a melodic score in which love, hope, and redemption all play their part.

If you are curious about the music, here is the link to the Seattle Opera page to listen to some excerpts: http://seattleopera.org/tickets/2013-2014/consul/audio.aspx

Perhaps, like me, you are intrigued with this opera and since the Seattle Opera always presents a great production, it certainly seems worth checking it out.

Ci vediamo all’opera, Lina

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