Sometimes an idea looks compelling and completely genuine on paper, only to roundly fail the public perception test in the harsh light of reality. I’m certain that’s what happened last weekend as Knoxville Opera staged Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and decided to allow a wedding to take place on stage during intermission. After all, it was Valentine’s Day–what could go wrong? Adequately warned of the event before the curtain went up, many in the audience tore out for the lobby to wait out the ceremony with a glass of wine. Others, not really knowing what to do, stayed in their seats, perhaps afraid to get up to take care of necessities. Or perhaps, some were just a bit curious as to what was going to happen. Overheard remarks in the audience were not even remotely favorable. The word “tasteless” was heard more than once.
Note to potential couples concerning weddings on stage: Don’t do it. Reality looks, and sounds, pretty insipid when juxtaposed with professionally produced opera.
The KO production, however, had my absolute, total respect–and I said so in my review in this week’s Metro Pulse. Online here.