Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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The Tempest

Prior to seeing The Tempest, the only things I knew about the opera largely came from its portrayal in film and television.  Thus I expected it to be a long, boring drawn out affair which only rich people attended. Nevertheless after seeing the small preview video in class I couldn’t help but be excited. After seeing the show, I can say that I wasn’t disappointed.

The opera opened dramatically by depicting the storm at the beginning of the play. I really liked the opera’s take on it. The turbulent sea looked almost real and Ariel dangling above the scene reinforced the fact that the storm wasn’t a natural one. Ariel’s performance was amazing. Honestly I didn’t even know human beings could make those kind of sounds. While this is a testament to the singers skill I also think it emphasizes the fact that Ariel isn’t a human character but rather a sprite.

In the beginning of the play I found it hard to get immersed in the story. Our seats were really far away and I had to constantly look at the subtitles. However, as time went on it became easier. I started playing attention less to how far we were and more to the quality of the performers voices. I began to notice the amazing range the voices had. I saw how they were able to raise and lower their voices to reflect the mood of the character at the time. I also noticed how the music followed the highs and lows of the voices perfectly and created a sort of a compound effect that amplified them both. The effect was so powerful that I had trouble getting a few of the melodies out of my head long after the opera was over.

The costumes and set design was also amazing. I liked how the set was dynamic, and sometimes changed to reflect what the characters were doing. It also helped add physical dept to certain scenes. Overall the costumes were pretty fantastic too, especially Ariel’s. I remember the glitter from the costume reflecting all the way to the ceiling.

I’m glad we were able to go the opera. It’s definitely an experience that I’m to going remember for a long time.


1 comment

1 Daniel Bibawy { 11.19.12 at 2:40 pm }

I really like this description of the opera. I also found that it was akin to the portrayal we see on television and mass media. You’re right, the opening scene of the storm was a sight to behold, and Ariel’s character just exemplified the power of this scene and throughout duration of the opera.

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