Friday, March 1, 2013

Night at the Opera: Hamlet

I should start by mentioning that Hamlet is my all-time favorite Shakespearean tragedy. When I heard we would be observing an opera version of the famous play, I was very excited.

Hamlet the Opera differs from the source material in some key aspects. First of all, it was adapted by a French composer, so it is all sung in French. The supertitles provided were in more modern English than I'm used to seeing associated with Shakespeare, though it did make it much easier to follow the story. Overall, the structure of the story felt different; it was as though they'd written all of the main characters, scenes, and other elements on note cards, shuffled a few around, discarded some completely, then added in new elements where necessary. I was disappointed in the lack of Horatio, my favorite character. It felt, for better or worse, almost like an entirely different story.

 I did enjoy this production for the most part. It's hard not to, when the MN Opera puts on such a quality show. The cast was excellent, especially Ophelia,who had some truly stunning scenes.The sets were cunningly designed, and supported the tone of the story well.The costumes, while not as spectacular as other productions, felt authentic to the period this version of Hamlet was trying to evoke.

This was my first time bringing a guest to the opera, and my boyfriend, Chris, was very impressed.The cast was all singing at full voice, and there weren't many directorial interruptions, so it felt like a proper performance rather than a dress rehearsal. A real treat!

Here are my sketches from the show. I offer no explanations or excuses.

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