There are three wonderful things I want to tell you about today. First, is the fact that the tartan weaving is finally underway. I have been so sick for so long that I have lost nearly a month which means it will be delivered a lot later than I had planned. But here is is:
The second wonderful thing is a book that arrived in the mail yesterday from England. It is a copy of Ann Richard's book. Here is the cover:
The third thing was the performance I attended last night. The Utah Symphony and Opera is putting on Donizetti's The Elixir of Love now and it is lovely.
The sort of singing required (bel canto--and what a good name because it is "beautiiful singing") is very exacting particularly for the main characters, Adina and Nemorino. As you probably know the story is set in a small town (for us an American town in the mid-west in the decade right after the turn of the 20th century) where there is a naive young man, Nemorino, who is madly in love with the prettiest, smartest girl in town, Adina. He isn't subtle about his interest in her and moons over her; she scorns him. A travelling patent medicine salesman blows into town selling bottles of cure-alls. Because Adina had been reading to everyone about Tristan and Isolde where a love potion figures in, Nemorino thinks his only chance is a magic elixir. Do you see where this is going?
An army recruiter comes to town and sweeps Adina off her feet and a wedding is set up for the same evening. Meanwhile, Nemorino has taken the elixir (actually Burgundy) and confident that it will work, relaxes, flirts with the other girls and waits for results. Adina is cat-like in that solicited she walks away, but ignored she comes around our of curiosity with the inevitable result: In the end the two young people realize their love for each other and all ends well.
The sets were completely charming, with the action taking place in the town square in a gazebo structure, the kind used then for band concerts. Costumes were pretty. It always interests me to notice how the colors are chosen so that our attention is directed to where it ought to go.
Our Adina was played by Arya Matanovic and Nemorino was Aaron Blake. Both were definitely up to their vocally demanding roles and acted convincingly as well. Rod Nelman was the travelling medicine man, Dr. Dulcamara.
The opera is in start contrast to the last. There is nothing light or cheerful about Rigoletto, a truly horrifying tale, but Elixir was just lovely in all kinds of ways.
So, three wonderful things to report this afternoon...how fortunate am I?