Very interesting, both as an opera and a production
As a life-long opera enthusiast and sometimes who admires Renee Fleming, I knew I wanted to see A Streetcar Named Desire. It was intriguing as well to see how a classic film and play would translate as an opera. The opera is definitely of interest value, it's not going to be a favourite of mine I don't think but Andre Previn's complex score in emotion, themes and orchestration despite not having many memorable arias so to speak is very well and sincerely crafted. The story of the opera is also true to those of the film and play, which fans will appreciate. I liked this production too. The diction is not always decipherable, but part of the problem might be to do with the most affected and also most important of words being set to notes in a register where it is almost impossible to project words. Rodney Gilfry is solid if not entirely successful as Stanley. He is very handsome, much more so than Brando in the film, is a commanding actor and sings beautifully and lyrically when the roles calls for it. His accent is unconvincing though, coming across as too much of a fisherman rather than a factory-worker and I don't think he is quite animalistic enough. On the other hand, the production values are very evocative and beautifully captured on video. The orchestra give a very vivid and emotionally charged reading and Previn, also conducting, makes it very clear about what he wants and when and where he wants it and it shows. Renee Fleming is superb, her singing and diction have many vocal colours and nuanced attention to text, and she captures every aspect of Blanche's complex character. Elizabeth Futral is very telling as Blanche's sister Stella and sings with a shimmering beauty of tone. Anthony Dean Giffrey has a strong if sometimes blustery voice that is ideal for his ineffectual and increasingly panicked character. In conclusion, very interesting. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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