Over the weekend, Nick & I went to the Minnesota Opera's production of Werther by Jules Massenet. We were able to go opening night and it was absolutely fantastic. The cast was phenomenal with James Valenti (pictured above) as the lead tenor, Werther, and Roxana Constantinescu as Charlotte, the object of Werther's affection. Refreshingly, the orchestra didn't overpower the vocalists (as is sometimes the case with any musical production), but rather added an indescribable richness & depth. A scrolling english translation above the stage enriched the experience and understanding of the heartbreaking tale. If you are a first time Opera-goer, it is a must see. Soaring voices from the lead adults to fluty, elegant melodies from a small children choir showcases an expanse of tone, timbre and utter quality.
Through Project 20-Something, a program by the MN Opera, Nick & I were fortunate enough to attend an after party with the cast at Sakura. Great music, mingling & a sushi bar made the entire evening feel so special. It had that fabulous VIP feel. Did I mention my favorite part? I met the world renowned lead, James Valenti. Although we didn't talk long, Nick & I chatted with him quickly, fervently gushing to him about his fantastic performance. Valenti is not only an unbelievably talented performer, he has a genuine personality that is refreshing, appreciative & welcoming. All in all, it was a marvelous and unforgettable night.
Top photo via