Going to the Opera!
The Lyric Opera of Chicago performs at the Civic Opera House, which is part of a huge office building in downtown Chicago:
The theater has 3,563 seats, and was built in 1929. The interior was named The Ardis Krainik Theater in 1996, after the former General Director. It has a stunning Art Deco design:
Seeing Rinaldo was a great start to our trip! The opera is very beautiful, and, we found out, is also indestructible - even when trapped within a wacky 'Euro-trash' production. Below are some images from the production.
I assume the balloons represent the fully blossomed love between Rinaldo and Almirena??? When she is captured, the evil sorceress Arimda "imprisons" Almirena inside the floating harpsichord - cool! Rinaldo (center stage) however, swears to rescue her, while his soldiers strut their stuff and shake their booties in preparation for battle - cool!
Armida keeps a liquor drawer within the floating harpsichord - cool! She gets plastered as she wanders the stage, scotch bottle in hand, lamenting her fate, and seething with jealousy over Rinaldo's love for Almirena. Her jealousy is perhaps represented by the floating green eye???
The director occasionally seemed interested in actually telling the story of the opera. When not doing so, he at least gave the audience cool stuff to look at. But the great strength of the evening was Handel's magnificent music - which was beautifully conducted and sung by a strong cast. I'm very excited to be producing this opera next season in Portland!