A real night at the opera: LA Opera’s ‘Tosca’

This is not a review.

For the first time in years, I attended an event last Friday with no agenda but to enjoy the spectacle. But after such sights and sounds, the experience is still rolling around in my brain, and there are things to say.

Sondra Radvanovsky as Rosca, courtesy of LA Opera. Photo by Ken Howard.

LA Opera, and in particular Sondra Radvanovsky, who reprises the title role after the last run of this production in 2013, have been knocking it out of the park with this run, earning well-deserved raves and leaving even the opera-phobic scrambling for tickets. My enthusiastic BRAVO! goes to all who took my favorite opera and made it just as gripping and emotionally complex as it should be. It’s beautiful, sexy, funny, politically potent, and it’s desperately sad.  It covers the gamut of human emotion, as great opera can.

The evening made me think about the much-discussed power of the genre, and rekindles a fire under the visceral connection with art, rather than the intellectual need to analyze it. I left feeling like my soul had been through a roller-coaster workout.

Our own engagement with art must go beyond mere discussion. As pros in the field, we have to show up and experience the music others make, as often as possible. And if possible, we need to just sit back and enjoy it.

Thank you all for the raw, imperative reminder.


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