Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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The Tempest

Our trip to the opera was wonderful, and I enjoyed it very much, but I would not recommend The Tempest as a first choice for unexperienced opera-goers. I myself am not very experienced, having seen 2 operas previously, but I can say with confidence that my previous two were significantly more enjoyable.

The Tempest as a play is hard. It’s difficult to follow at times, and the language only makes it more difficult to understand at times. To translate that to the opera stage, with a new score and new words written along the basic plot line, it would be extremely difficult to successfully execute. I wasn’t as pleased as I hoped I would. I had previously seen a Puccini and a Verdi, both very melodic, extravagant, and exciting Italian operas. This was not that. The Tempest was choppy, had no recurring rhythm or musical theme, and reduced Shakespearean dialogue to choppy, disjointed rhyming couplets. While it was a great evening at the opera, I would not recommend the Tempest unless one is truly prepared to see and experience something completely out of the ordinary. Regular every day opera goer beware! The Tempest is most definitely an acquired taste.


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