Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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The Tempest

When we went to the opera, what struck me first was how fancy everything is. I was surprised I’ve never been to Lincoln Center, even though I’ve been living in New York almost my whole life. The place really displays grandeur, having the opera buildings overlooking the patio, with a fountain in the center. Inside the building, people were dressed very formally. We headed up the stairs, passing through an indoor balcony (which reminded me of the staircase scene in “Titanic”) to our seats.

staircase in “Titanic”

I laughed at how the chandelier in the auditorium rose to signify that it’s time to be quiet. I’m sure people who consistently go to the opera are familiar with it, although it was new for me.

Usually I find it difficult to follow the plot lines of plays, but this one was different for me. I understood everything that was going on, and sincerely enjoyed the show despite my expectations. The only disappointing thing was that there was very little actual melody to the singing during the opera. The dialogue was always sung, but the only time there was a melodious tune was in one of the final scenes, where Prospero forgives Ferdinand.

One interesting thing I noticed is how subtle the transitions between some scenes were. At the end of one of the scenes, the crew of the boat left the stage very slowly. They left so slowly that one wouldn’t even notice how they disappeared, unless he paid attention to them.

The music went along with the plot well. I remember how sharp bursts were played by violins whenever there was an argument, and calming chords were played during the romantic scenes. Once again, there were rarely any tunes played. Mostly, there were chords being played in order to emphasize the characters’ points.

It’s difficult to rate this opera, since I don’t have much experience with them, and can’t compare it to anything. But this was an interesting introduction to this genre of art. It must be difficult to synchronize all the talents that had to be used in this opera. That includes the musicians, actors/singers (especially Ariel), the gymnasts, the people who do lighting, the playwright, William Shakespeare, the costume designers, and the multitude of others whose hard work went into this production. A work of entertainment presented as successfully as this one must always be commended.


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