"Inventory"

Libretto is the interior monologue of a salesgirl fetching shoes from the stacks, on the page it scans nicely, with nice rhythm and shape good variation in phrase lengths. George Steel is introducing the program in general before the music begins . . . there is usually a good demand for tickets, and there was a small line outside for stand-by tickets, but there’s still at least 25% empty seats. Steel is calling for applause for the City Opera orchestra, which is deserved as they have sounded great in everything I’ve heard this year. And so, Inventory . . . complex opening gesture, with skittering flute . . . very nice setting of the libretto, emphasis on clarity, articulation, the shape and meaning of the words coupled to the musical expression of emotional meaning and changing emotional states, this is the fundamental craft of writing operatic music. Music offers a complex comment on the vocal line, aesthetically appropriate and fiendish to play. These are essentially reading sessions, but the orchestra is handling the music pretty well. I think an hour of rehearsal and they would master it.

The voice is opening up nice and big here, Lisa Vroman sounds quite good, lines are:

I’m sure that I’ve met you before
You bought blood oranges in Pucelli’s
And your smile is Botticelli

Interesting piece, well crafted. It’s an interior experience which is great subject for opera. Also, the interior drama and seemingly mundane setting are a good combination. Hopefully they’ll get this produced.

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