The children and I had the privilege of attending Opera Saratoga‘s performance of The Witches of Venice earlier this week. This production weaves a brilliantly choreographed dance into a complicated musical score (composed by Philip Glass) and the result is a stunning show that captivates from start to finish.
The cast of The Witches of Venice features many young people and a standout performance by 8th grader Oliver Nathanielsz as The Plant Boy. The fairytale plot tells a story of a young and lonely plant-boy that embarks on a quest to find purpose. He encounters skeletons, ogres, fairies, and of course witches but in the end finds friendship and true happiness. It’s a charming story with a happy ending but the focus really is how the plot comes to life on-stage and captures the audience.
In fact, the performance was so captivating that it kept the three children I had with me (ages 4, 5 and 8) entertained and glued to their chairs for the entire 70 minute show. The action is not only on-stage, but ensembles of colorful plant children, witches and skeletons dance down the aisles and take over the theater. The kids really enjoyed the show and were thrilled to be able to meet some of the cast members after. My two had been to opera performances before and both noted how little singing there was. My niece who is four was attending her first opera performance and the fact that a four year-old stayed in her seat the whole show should give you an indication of how entertaining it was!
The music was exhilarating and there were very few lulls in the show. My children in particular enjoyed seeing all the kids in the cast and adored the costumes. Members from the Capital District Youth Chorale did a fabulous job on stage and this show also featured many members of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist program. Kudos to director and choreographer Karole Armitage who brought The Witches of Venice to Saratoga this summer.
If you have an opportunity to see an Opera Saratoga production this summer, do not hesitate. Opera Saratoga is bringing world-class performances to the Saratoga community.
Opera Saratoga presents: “The Witches of Venice”
By Philip Glass and Beni Montresor
When: last performance is Sunday, July 17th 2016
Where: Spa Little Theatre, Saratoga Spa State Park
Length: 70 minutes; no intermission
Tickets: $50-$95. Call 584-9330.
More information: http://www.operasaratoga.org/