by Mike Telin
The Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theatre’s most recent production, “A Celebration of English Opera,” either left you scratching your head or re-energized, depending on your sensibilities. Performed in Kulas Hall from February 26 through March 1 the “Celebration” consisted of two one-act operas, the rarely heard Ralph Vaughan Williams Riders to the Sea and the second, a staple of the Baroque opera repertoire, Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
In his director’s notes David Bamberger pointed out that both operas center on a powerful woman and in each case, that woman self-identifies through a man – in one case a mother, in another as a lover. And in each opera the woman loses the man to rival forces that she can neither control nor totally understand. But without a doubt, the pairing of these two titles made for a fun, enjoyable and thought-provoking evening. Enjoyable because of the outstanding performances given by the young and talented CIM cast. Thought-provoking due to an ingenious take on an all too-familiar tale. I attended the Thursday, February 27 performance. [Read more…]