I went to see Flora yesterday afternoon. I felt like it was my duty to see one of this season’s most-hyped productions. From my non-opera-expert stance (which is something I think I have in common with a lot of people), I found both pros and cons. Let's get the negatives out of the way first.
- Con: The Dock Street seats are uncomfortable. We’ve discussed this. I won’t elaborate any more, except to say that my derriere fell asleep on multiple occasions. And there’s no intermission.
- Con: It seemed really long. (See above for reasons that may have contributed to this feeling.) At an hour and a half, the simple plotline wasn’t enough to keep my attention. It goes something like this: girl wants to marry boy, but evil uncle won’t let her. So she runs away and they get married.
- Pro: The period costumes are stunning, as is the elaborate set.
- Pro: It’s not all singing. Having never been to an opera, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This being a ballad opera, there’s dialogue interspersed between the songs.
- Pro: The singers are pretty amazing. Andriana Chuchman (Flora), Robert McPherson (Hob), and Tyler Duncan (Tom Friendly) really stood out, but of course the entire cast have individually impressive sets of lungs.
- Pro: It’s a fascinating look back in time. If you’ve been reading our coverage, you know the history of the opera. The music, language, and jokes are relatable yet transport the audience back hundreds of years.
Despite the slow pace, I would recommend Flora to anyone with $100-$150 laying around (ahem, another con). It’s a beautiful, interesting production that will no doubt be remembered as a highlight of Spoleto 2010.
If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out Joshua Curry's sneak peek video of Flora.