In other news, I just got back from one of the worst opera performances I've ever seen. The Curtis Opera Theatre's production of Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims.
Part of the problem, of course, was that it was Rossini (and mediocre Rossini at that) - which meant that the music was trite, uninspired and repetitive and all the characters sounded exactly like each other. But I was expecting that. What I wasn't expecting was a campy, sophomoric production comprised entirely of the kind of overdone slapstick that only below average high school students could possibly find amusing. I mean seriously, compared to this stuff the Austin Powers films would have seemed witty and sophisticated .
Which was a shame because if you closed your eyes and ignored the shenanigans on stage there was some real talent on display. Allison Sanders brought power and soul to her role as Marchesa Melibea, Evan Hughes (who was spectacular as Don Giovanni earlier this year) continued to impress and Elizabeth Reiter sang an exquisite Corinna. None of that really mattered though, because the silliness on stage entirely eclipsed any musical merit the production may have had.
 Which didn't stop the woman sitting next to me from squealing with hysterical laughter every 30 seconds or so - a fact that no doubt contributed to my annoyance with the performance.