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BWW Feature: Opera To Watch Online This Week August 8th to 15th

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BWW Feature: Opera To Watch Online This Week August 8th to 15th

For her delightful Los Angeles Opera Living Room Recital, soprano Latonia Moore is accompanied by pianist Roberto Berrocal. First, she sings: Tatiana's dramatic "Letter Scene" from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. The young and naive girl, Tatiana, writes an expressive love letter to the sophisticated Onegin, who is shocked and rebuffs her. Moore follows the aria with three of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Six Songs from his op. 38. "In My Garden at Night" describes the weeping willow tree. In "To Her," the poet calls but she does not answer. "A-oo!" reminds the singer of a loved one's laughter.

"D'ogni dolor... nel villaggio d'Edgar" ("Of every Edgar's village") is an aria from Giacomo Puccini's second opera, Edgar. Moore finishes her recital with Agustín Lara's "Granada" and two songs by American composer Wintter Watts (1884-1962): "Stresa" from Vignettes of Italy and "Joy." Both are set to poems by Sara Teasdale.

Staff and tour members flood onto the Magic Opera Flying Carpet. We head east over the Rockies and across the plains to New Jersey. From there, a waiting bus transports us to dinner at a lower Manhattan delicatessen restaurant that advertises "mile-high sandwiches" with "theatrically cranky service since 1888." The wait staff was less than amorous, but the chopped liver on dark rye bread with caraway seeds was scrumptious. After a bit of street congestion and an "orange" traffic light, we arrive at the opera house.

The Met Opera Stream of Manon Lescaut from 2008 is available only August 10, The cast includes Karita Mattila, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft. James Levine conducts.



Arriving in London, our bus from the air field stops at Covent Garden for traditional hot meat pie with mashed potatoes and gravy. Just the aroma in the "Pie Station" is enthralling. The pastry itself takes me on a trip to the luxury of Victorian living. After coffee and gelato at Portobello road, we drive to Glyndebourne for Handel's Giulio Cesare starring Sarah Connolly and Danielle de Niese. The show is directed by David McVicar and William Christie conducts The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The video was captured live at Festival 2005.


Music: Begins 8/9.

After the opera, we spend the night on the Magic Opera Flying Carpet so we can enjoy a fine English breakfast before leaving for Munich. We eat eggs, herring, bacon, sausage, potatoes, even tomatoes, with tea/coffee, rolls and wonderful fresh butter. Manon enjoys some matjes fillets on the Carpet's carpet. . .so now I need to wash a spot out fast.

Munich has a restaurant named La Bohème. We could not resist the name. In its pleasantly convivial setting, we enjoyed sizzling steaks with colorful salads and far too many pomme frites. I doubt the Bohemians from Henri Murger's novel, Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, would have been welcome there, however.

Die Csardasfürstin stars Anna Moffo and Rene Kollo with the Symphonie-Orchester Kurt Graunke conducted by Bert Grund. The stage director is Miklós Szinetár.



In Verona, we sample Risotto all'Amarone, a brightly colored dish that features Veronese wine with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Vialone Nano, a medium grain rice. We purchase our desserts from the loud vendors who verbally advertise their wares in the huge open-air Verona Arena. Verdi's Otello stars Vladimir Atlantov and Kiri Te Kanawa. The 1982 video is conducted by Zoltán Peskó and directed by Gianfranco de Bosio.



Enroute to New York, Manon is sitting in my lap listening to music. "I wish I could go to the opera," she says with a sigh. "Sometimes you take a shopping bag with you, could I ride in it?"

I said, "I wonder. Maybe you could, but you would not see anything."

"If you make a cut out and sew it up with clear plastic, I could see out the window."

"Manon, would you promise to stay in the bag? I'm serious about that because if we get caught, we all get thrown out."

"O, mee-ow, I promise crossing my heart with my back paws, bien sure, I will stay in the sac."

Charlemagne has no great interest in going to the Met since he has seen plenty of opera back stage at the Maestranza. Dinner was at a deli in the city, so Manon relaxed in the rental car while we ate. Afterwards, I brought her a few shrimp, which she eagerly wolfed down.

Manon curls up in the bottom of the green shopping bag and we are off to Lincoln Center. Unfortunately, the opera has had a bomb threat and the ticket-takers are checking inside all bags going to the performance. Quel domage! Then, I remember I have a slight acquaintance with Stephen, a young singer in the chorus. Since the chorus does not appear until Act II, I rush to the stage door. Within a few minutes Stephen appears and I tell him our tale of woe. Addressing Manon, he says, "You can watch from the overhead bridge if you're not afraid of heights and can stay perfectly still. Be careful not to get in the way of the snow machine," he adds. And that is how all of us, except Charlemagne, enjoy the Met's La Bohème.

Available only August 15, the La Boheme from 2014 stars Kristine Opolais, Susanna Phillips, Vittorio Grigolo, and Massimo Cavalletti. Stefano Ranzani conducts.



Photo of Latonia Moore from Los Angeles Opera

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From This Author Maria Nockin