Opera done well, is opera properly staged and costumed. September brings opera. In Paris, our favorite Barihunk, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, is doing Giorgio Germont to Ermonela Jaho’s Violetta. The costumes are beautiful, from the proper era. I was never much of a fan of Traviata until I saw the Met’s production by Willy Decker. Now, the wild and crazy thing about that is the fact that it is ‘modern’. And, I don’t like modern settings. But, there are some tales which are timeless. This is one of them.
As for Wyatt Earp, he was an opera fanatic! I had the great privilege of going through his collection of opera programs. There was one from a production in LA, of La Traviata. He rated the production against the others he had seen. That’s a true opera fan. There are several of us who suspect he was in San Francisco the night of the great earthquake. That night, Caruso sang Don Jose with the Metropolitan Opera, which was on tour.
It’s an opera thing. It’s also a baseball thing. Quite often the two intersect. Wyatt was a baseball fan, a sports fan. Yea, it’s getting to be that time of year, when I was Tombstone. Too bad I can’t go, but when you have senior citizen parents, well, that’s that.
I would be horribly remiss if I did not submit, for your approval, what I humbly think is the greatest version of La Traviata ever staged. Naturally, it stars Beverly Sills. I was fortunate enough to see her live, one time. I think I probably cried the entire time.
From the Willy Decker production.
There is just something about Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s Germont, when costumed in the proper era, reminds me of the venerable Ben Cartwright. I know, I’m a Western freak. (BTW – Ben Cartwright was also an opera fan.) All my favorite baritone needs is a cowboy hat, six-gun, and a horse.
I think you’ve now guessed the rest of the story. I think I need a Bonanza fix!
I can’t help it.