A few weeks ago, my daughter and I at the last minute decided to catch an opera here in Chicago. The Lyric Opera House is a splendid venue to take in a performance and their productions are some of the best in the country.
On this particular night, we purchased nosebleed seats to see Georges Bizet's, Les Pêchers de Perles or The Pearl Fishers, a tail of love, denial, friendships, broken promises and someone having to die....typical opera stuff. I am not making fun, but seriously, without having read the
story line in the program, I was able to predict at least three quarters of what took place. There was a twist at the end that I really did not see coming so at least there was an element of surprise. And, unlike those five to six hour Wagnerian sagas (what is that about??), this opera was about two and a half hours. Your rear end won't fall asleep if you should go see this one!
When I speak of elements of surprise, I should really say that there were two: one in the story line and the other that was much more fascinating....a hunky, well-built guy was performing the lead. Nathan Gunn, playing the role of Zurga, totally took me by surprise as he decided to perform the entire opera 'topless', 'shirtless', whatever you want to call it. Seriously, this was a FABULOUS idea!! Now that I think about it, I could have easily sat through 5 hours of having him run around the stage, dealing with all the themes operas deal with, singing in a language that I don't understand. It just wouldn't matter. Even from our nosebleed seats, he was adorable. Apparently, this is a common occurrence for Mr. Gunn, singing without his shirt on. If you look like him, you could quite possibly do just about anything without one!! I can't speak from experience, but I am thinking it might be similar to seeing a Chippendale show only there was some really good singing. I see much potential in the marketing of this kind of thing. And in all fairness to the males in the audience, the female lead, Nicole Cabell playing Leila, was somewhat scantily clad (tastefully) and beautiful to boot.
This week, we are off to see Manon, which too, is getting rave reviews here in Chicago. I did my homework and know that Mr. Gunn is not performing in this opera, therefore, everyone will have their clothes on. I can only hope it isn't five hours long!!
Take a peek....oh, almost forgot. Eric Cutler, playing Nadir is topless too! It's all good.