Chicago Opera Theater: Tragedy and Comedy

The voices were strong and the music beautiful in last night’s opening night performance by the Chicago Opera Theater. Two one-act love stories, the comedic The Padlock, followed by the tragic Dido and Aeneas, were effectively tied together by staging the first as a performance observed by actors in the second.

Good acting accompanied all singing, a combination you don’t always find in opera. The direction was fluid and active, especially in Dido and Aeneas, where the chorus and two dancers were beautifully choreographed to keep things visually interesting. As a choral music fan, I most enjoyed the portions of the second opera sung by the chorus, which was terrific.

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