|Stars of New Camerata Opera at the Affordable Art Fair
This opera fan took great pleasure in the fact that our favorite art form upstaged the visual art last night at The Affordable Art Fair, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion. It's not that the paintings were deficient in any way; it's just that the operatic performances were so compelling.
For the better part of three hours, these outstanding singers, bewigged and gloriously costumed by Angela Huff, strolled around the two floors of the exhibit, dazzling the audiences with arias, duets, and ensembles. Verdi and Mozart, Bizet and Offenbach, not to mention Neapolitan songs, kept the audience following them from room to room. We would not be a bit surprised to learn that a good percentage of the attendees would be showing up for the unusual double feature that New Camerata Opera will be performing at the end of November--Gustav Holst's Savitri and John Blow's Venus and Adonis.
The singers' makeup and wigs made them particularly unrecognizable; included were sopranos Barbara Porto and Lily Arbisser, mezzo-sopranos Eva Parr and Amy Maude Helfer, baritones Jay Lucas Chacon and Stan Lacy, and tenors Victor Khodadad and Erik Bagger. Mr. Bagger, Artistic Director of the company, astonished us by being the least recognizable of all, and by accompanying himself on the guitar! We love discovering people's hidden talents!
Aside from Mr. Bagger's guitar, all the singing was a cappella! It has been an exciting year watching small opera companies experimenting with new formats and new venues. This adventure provided lots of fun for the cast and the art lovers who offered enthusiastic applause after every song. Down with folks who think opera is stuffy! Not so!
(c) meche kroop