No Oprah @ the opera, but we'll gladly take Hammerin' Hank. The former MLB playa cleverly dragged himself out of retirement last night, and made it to the New York City Opera for a good reason: A delicious evening passed with the season opener and new production premiere of Richard Danielpour/Toni Morrison's opera Margaret Garner, which was sheer pleasurable omg hawtness.
If one was so inclined to get their freak on with the NYCO, tickets (starting at $500), allowed you to join cast and VIPs for a pre-performance dinner and a post-performance toast. Tempting, but a new pair of leopard-print louboutins (or the marc jacobs backward-heeled shoes) remain unclaimed... Tonight's performance also marked, like, the third consecutive official opening night of New York City Opera's 2007-08 season, leading to confusion muddled amid agendas and schedules alike (their 3-night Opera-For-All festival had taken residence in Lincoln Center's New York State Theater for the past three days, throwing-off the official start date, which even the New York Times critics had trouble discerning).
Between the NYCO debuts of just about every principal, the visceral & intellectual & adept acting, the raw RAWR power & energy, and the perfect synthesis of lighting/costumes/sets, this new production proved to be a kicka$$ offering from this season's samplings. Also there were two dead babies. Also two hangings. A poetic, yet narrative, libretto provided the perfect venue to showcase the provocative production. Danielpour's composition was a total synthesis between the classic strains of Verdi, the jazzier sounds of Gershwin, and the playfulness of Lenny.
Aside from it all: every so often, you get the opportunity to experience a living composer and a living librettist. What's your excuse?
MOAR tomorrow. RAWR.