Don Quichotte: Rarely performed role proves worth the wait
Special to The Globe and Mail
Sometimes opera can shake us emotionally. Sometimes it can wrench us intellectually. But sometimes opera is just there to delight. To charm, and please. In the same way that some of the most beautiful stories in the Bible are hidden away in books like Ruth, or First Samuel, wonderful operatic experiences can be had outside of the big monuments like La Boheme or Tristan or La Traviata.
And such was the case with the latest opera – the season-ending production– from the Canadian Opera Company, Jules Massenet’s Don Quichotte, which opened Friday night. Hardly ever performed today, Massenet’s 1910 retelling of the famous Quixote story, complete with windmills and love affairs and mock battles, produced a COC production that was winning, lively and charming. With superb singing from its principals, this Don Quichotte reminded us that not every experience in the opera house needs to storm the emotional heavens. There’s plenty of artistic joy to be had much closer to Earth.
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