'Rinaldo' at Lyric Opera is imaginative and surrealist
I was surprised and amazed Friday night when I saw the Lyric Opera’s final opera of the season, Rinaldo.
Composed by George Frederic Handel, Rinaldo is a classic story of war and love. Originally set during the Crusades, the story is about General Goffredo and a knight, Rinaldo, who are using sorcery to fight King Argante’s army and liberate Jerusalem from the Arabs.
This production, however, is far from typical. Instead of the Crusades, we find ourselves in a surrealist world with no specific time of place.
The set design is particularly mesmerizing and filled with imaginative, modern touches like a giant piano that is suspended from the ceiling that is also used for a jail. There is also a huge green eye that is suspended in mid-air and looks seductively down on the audience. Massive letters spelling out “Gerusalem” at the back of the stage added to the dramatic effect.
Many of the singers were performing with the Lyric for the first time, and I was truly impressed by the beauty of their voices. I also loved the energy and youthfulness of the cast. It seemed as if everyone in the cast was younger than 35, making the production feel vibrant and fresh.
Sasha Danilishen, Accounting Manager at Aleksandra Enterprises, said she, too, was amazed by Rinaldo. “It was just wonderful, beautiful. It wasn’t like anything you usually see at the opera,” Sasha said.
Despite the fact that the show lasted three and a half hours, everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting to find out what the Lyric would come up with next, and at the end, people were clapping and clapping profusely.
“To be honest, it was the most fun I’ve ever had at the opera,” Sasha said.