Made a couple of more visits to Lyric Opera, the first after finding out that I had been named as an inaugural Lyric Opera University Ambassador. Our first official meeting was on Opening Night of The Merry Widow (11/14/15), starring the renowned Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson. We were all sitting together on the main floor, which was incredible considering the theatre was entirely full, so I was surprised that we all got good seats together. I got to meet some of the cast members (one of the Grisettes) as they were running around the lobby before the show began. I was looking forward to seeing Fleming perform, as this would be the second time I would get to see her perform live, the first being when she sang at a tribute concert (for Ken Pigott) last spring at Lyric.
Not without some mishaps, Fleming overall gave a great performance. Although she is not in her prime anymore and is beginning to phase out her work in opera, she was still able to sing the “Vilja song” and the “Merry Widow Waltz” with a great richness and tone that was complemented by her still-beautiful high notes. Thomas Hampson was absolutely ravishing as Danilo, perfect in the acting and the singing. Additionally, Léhar’s timeless music was handled with great care by the orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis. I left the opera house very satisfied, humming my way back home.
I also got to catch one of the last performances of Wozzeck, which lived up to the great reviews given by the local newspapers. It was full of drama and darkness. Although Berg’s music isn’t necessarily my favorite type of music in opera, the whole performance-especially the staging-was impeccable.