Mixed Reviews: Three Decembers at COT

There are only four performances of Chicago Opera Theater's season-closing production, and you've already missed one.  The opera, Jake Heggie's "Three Decembers", has elicited an intense reaction among critics, receiving high praise from the theater crowd and disdain from the Classical music crowd.
ChicagoNOW's theater blog "The Fourth Walsh" calls it a "triple triumph" and claims that the opera is both a good "starter opera" and a satisfying artistic experience for "aficionados".  But Andrew Patner, the Classical critic at the Sun Times, disagrees, saying "on Stade's presence and her impending departure are the only reasons to see this production" (read it here: The View From Here).  At New City, Dennis Polkow agrees with Patner, saying "the work is hardly operatic in that the sound world is pop-driven with piano and schmaltzy strings, giving the overall feel of opera singers attempting to sing muzak that they do not connect with."  Lawrence Johnson, at Chicago Classical Review, cited all the same problems but finishes by saying: "Still for all its weaknesses, Heggie's opera is strangely endearing in its key moments and the touching intimacy was effectively put across by Chicago Opera Theater's stylish production and three terrific singers."
Remaining performances are Wednesday (5.12) Friday (5.14) and Sunday (5.16) at the Harris Theater in Chicago's Millennium Park.
I did find one other review--Barbara Keer at lasplash.com--who thought "the staging was very interesting."  And then something about her friend who apparently also liked it.  <sarc>Compelling.</sarc>

Filed under: concerts in chicago, COT, review

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