Saturday, July 23, 2016


The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh took a leap of dare and staged Richard Strauss' infrequently perfromed "The Silent Woman."  This 1934 work is a comedy based on the notion that opera singers are not all bad and that finding the right woman is not an easy task.  Its not profound but it is funny.  The OTP set was spare and did not always function properly.  But in some ways it added to the lighhearted nature of the work.  The conductor was Brent McMunn and the director was Janathan Eaton.  OP performs in English, but also provides surtitles in English, and, as a result, there is little that should be missed by the listener.  The performance was held at the Falk Auditorium of the Winchester Thruston School.  This is a relatively new location for the OTP and it seemed to meet their requirements admirably.  It holds about 380 people and the house was nearly full.  The performers were uniformly good.  Jeremy Galyon sang the role of Sir Morosus,  an elderly Admiral looking for silence in his household as a result of an injury to his hearing.  Galyon has a wonderful voice that is rich and resonant and his articulation is wonderful.  The femals lead,  Aminta, was played by soproano Julia Fox.  She had a nice range in her acting- from being shy and demurr to srewish and loud.  Dimitrie Lazich played the pivotal schemer and puppetmaster Barber Schneidebart.  Lazic was outstanding.  Not only does he has a good voice, but he is comfortable moving all around the stage.  He is energetic and very comfortable in his acting.  A special note on Mathew Maisano who played one of the opera singers Morbio.  He has a real comedic talent, both with his face and his hands.  The OTP orchestra was quite good, save a few intonation problems from time to time.  Yet it sounded rich and its dymanics were good, in spite of it being rather small (espeically considering the size of the sound created by Strauss). "A Silent Woman" is funny and musically engaging.  The cast was great, in regard to both singing and acting.                                                                                                                                           

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