Were you art-full this past week?

Season subscriber that I am, I spent Sunday afternoon with Violetta and her crew at TCO’s lovely production of “La Traviata.” (See review below.) I’ve also been savoring all the award-winning  movies that TCM annually broadcasts as a lead-up to the Oscars. And speaking of films on TV, HBO subscribers should try to catch “The Sunset Limited,” based on a  play by Cormac McCarthy. This dialogue-driven two-man show about faith (or lack thereof) is a great addition to Tommy Lee Jones’ canon of top-notch performances and a strong reminder of what a wonderful actor  Samuel L. Jackson can be when he’s not asked to carry a lightsaber or spew a string of curses.
What’s been art-full in your life this past week? Join the conversation.

2 Responses to “Were you art-full this past week?”

  1. jimciotoli Says:

    Yesterday (Sunday, Feb. 13), my dad, Orlando Ciotoli, and I climbed into my car and drove to downtown Binghamton at attend the matinee performance of the Tri-Cities Opera production of “La Traviata.”
    We arrived on Washington Street at 2:30 p.m., and I dropped Dad off in front of the Broome County Center for the Performing Arts. I scooted right across the street and parked in the Assembly of God’s parking lot and was surprised that no one was collecting a fee.
    We picked up our tickets at “Will Call”; I had gone online the past week and selected our seats and paid for them with a debit card. After milling around, observing that there was bar available, we were shown to our seats by a gracious usher. Down front, row “C”, end seats. I am a large fellow but fit into the seat, but my legs, particularly my knees, were a little uncomfortable. The house was filling up and at 3:10 p.m., the lights dimmed, Mr. DiCostanzo was given a warm welcome and the orchestra began to play.
    I am not an expert on opera and the last one I saw there was “La Boheme” back in the 1980s. What I especially liked while watching this opera were the projected titles over the stage, providing a play-by-play account of what was being sung in Italian on stage.
    A very beautiful Violetta (Victoria Cannizzo) was being courted by a handsome Alfredo (Kirk Dougherty). His father, Giorgio (Guido LeBron), strongly objected to this romance. The opera takes place in 1850 Paris, and there were parties and events going on with performers dressed in brightly colored costumes who sang and danced with great enthusiasm. I am not doing Mr. Joe Green’s (Giuseppe Verdi) work justice here, but this I what I saw and knew from reading a synopsis on the Wikipedia. As the opera progressed, Violetta and Alfredo were separated by societal pressures.
    I should add that there was an intermission about 40 minutes into the opera, then a five-minute set change and then, after a while, another intermission where we return to a very ill Violetta. Of course, she dies in the end and having been up so close to the stage, we were able to not only enjoy the great singing, but the real-to-life facial expressions and emotions so very well done.
    In summary, this was a class act, something that all of Broome County residents should be very proud of. Tri-Cities opera was founded in 1949 by Peyton Hibbit and Carmen Savoca and has produced through its mentor program many great operatic performers.
    I should note that there was a performance on Friday night (opening night) and a Sunday matinee but no Saturday performances, and this is probably due to economic climate of the Binghamton area. I sincerely hope that there is a great upswing in the future so that more performances of such well-done artistic endeavors may be watched by more people and that this precious stone will be around for another 60 years.
    I wonder where more of the some 200,000 residents of Broome County were this St. Valentine’s Day weekend when only several thousand came to see this very large jewel in the Binghamton area’s art crown.
    A great ovation was given at the end of the final chorus scene and then a rounding standing ovation was given at the end, with cheers of Bravo! Bravo! given to Mr. LeBron
    The just over three-hour opera was over at around 6:15 p.m., and we were off to dinner.

  2. Sharon Ball Says:

    I too attended “La Traviata” Friday and concur with all that’s been said. The orchestra was absolutely “on” and at one point the violins achieved that perfect sound of a single instrument that sets off chills. On Sunday, I saw “The King’s Speech” as part of my effort to see at least five of the 10 nominees for Oscar’s Best Picture this year. What can I say? Colin Firth. Geoffrey Rush, too. London should be nominated for something, too. I just love the look of that jumbled, storied city.

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