On Sunday my parents and I went to see a matine show of Turandot at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. This was the third opera I’d gone to see and the first I’d enjoyed. The theater was not equipped with an orchestra pit (or perhaps it was and the director didn’t use it?) so the entire orchestra, plus 20-odd choir members were on stage, behind the actors. Given the lack of stage space, there wasn’t much room for a set so there pretty much wasn’t any at all. The performance was done with their acting and singing alone.
I think the thing that hooked me on this opera was how powerful the music was, right out of the gate. It was powerful, quick paced and seemed design to entertain as well as be sophisticated. The plot was action packed and the scoring sounded modern and fresh, not dissimilar from what a movie’s soundtrack would sound like today. It also helped that I read the plot first before I went to see the show, which meant I could follow along more closely to boot.