Review: Little Women, An Opera?

Yes folks, Little Women, the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, has gone from book to play, musical, movie, and Opera. The Libretto was written by Mark Adamo and performed by UofM’s School of Music, Theater, and Dance at Mendelssohn Theatre in the League. I had

never read the novel, but since I love the operas presented here at the University, I went to see how it turned out. This past weekend the only day I had free was Thursday, so I went then and thouroughly enjoyed the show.

Like all the operas at the university, this one had subtitles projected above the stage so that we could all understand the libretto. Even though it was sung in English, it was still hard to hear exactly what they were saying through the vibrato and the many operatic accents that make classic operas what they are.

I loved the story of the show. Though I’ve never read the novel Little Women, I am now planning on reading it this summer. It’s the story of 4 sisters and their best friend and the process of change that cannot be stopped, no matter how hard you try in life. One sister gives up so much just so that her family won’t change, and in the end it just leads to her regretting and realizing her mistakes. It’s a harsh lesson, but an important one to learn and understand. Another theme the story touches on is that of art verses entertainment. Jo begins to sell out on her story writing because people will pay her for trashy stories. Her artistic talent is pushed to the wayside until a suitor made her question it and learn to embrace her originality and creativity.

The performers were wonderfully talented, providing us with just the right amount of humor and depth. We laughed often at the clever comedy and at the reenactments of childhood memories, and then cried as the changes of the characters’ lives emerged. I think that the School of Music, Theater, and Dance has found another magnificent production and by making it their own they’ve connected with audiences and families from all over Ann Arbor. This show receives an A+ from me.

As always,
This is Danny Fob: Artist and Art Reviewer

Preview: Love in an Elixir? Can Such Things Be?

Could it really be that easy? Just drink and Bam! Love? I guess I’ll just have to see this Thursday night, won’t I? I’m very excited to see The Elixir of Love. This Italian Opera, L’elisir d’amore, is a comic opera in two acts, with music written by Gaetano Donizetti and the Libretto written by Felice Romani. For those who have never experienced an opera, I would especially suggest a visit to this one. The University opera productions are always fantastic and they include subtitles to make the show more accessible for those that have a hard time interpreting the music. I find that they really help you understand the drama and comedy of the show instead of just having an idea of what’s going on.

The music is going to be fabulous. I know this because I have three friends in the show and have heard bits and pieces. I also know this because Italian opera is one of the most beautiful song forms in the world. I would urge everyone on campus to buy tickets, mostly because I already bought mine and I already have my seats, so it is allowed to sell out. Student Rush tickets are only $10 and the seats are great. Details you ask? (or maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway. If you really don’t want to know than you can stop reading, but I know that you really want to go to the show and you won’t stop reading).

When: Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 PM
Friday, November 12 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 13 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 14 at 2:00 PM

Where: Power Center for the Performing Arts (My favorite Venue on campus)
How much: $10 Student Rush. $18 regular price (Available at League Box Office)
Who: School of Music, Theater, and Dance
Why: Do you really have to ask?

More info and Story Overview

As always,
This is a very excited Danny Fob: Artist and Art Reviewer