Now, THIS is what live theater is all about.
Forget, for a moment, form or design or lights or actors or singers. Think of the one thing that matters more than anything: the story!
And thatâ€™s what Skylight Music Theatre delivers in "The Snow Dragon," a powerful and insightful opera that opened over the weekend.
Itâ€™s an evening that grabs hold of your heart and your head and shakes both until you holler "uncle" and try to get some kind of equilibrium back into your life.
Imaginative and daring donâ€™t come close to capturing the web woven by this production, but itâ€™s a good place to start.
Somtow Sucharitkul composed the opera based on a short story he wrote. The subject is perhaps the most uncomfortable you can imagine: abuse of a child by an adult. There have been countess books, movies and plays written about child abuse, but they all seem to have a focus on the perpetrator and how we as a society should deal with him.
This opera moves the focus to all the victims, and there are more than one.
Billy Binder, played by Luke Brotherhood, is the young boy who has been victimized. But Dora Max, sung by Colleen Brooks, is also a victim as a counselor who has seen too much too often and has lost her sense of compassion and confidence in helping children like Billy.
Billy has a place called "The Fallen Country" (the title of the short story) where he can retreat to in order to find succor from the horrors of his life. He finds solace but is unable to find any outlet for the rage that all but overwhelms him.
His imaginary place is not a circus or field of dream, but rather a place where emotion has no place. Itâ€™s an easy place not to feel anything and is therefore a welcomed spot for a character who suffers such emotional trauma at the feet of the physical abuse.
If he canâ€™t feel, maybe he wonâ€™t feel.
The country is ruled by a Ringmaster (Dan Kempson) the embodiment of Billyâ€™s tormenter, and it is in this land that Billy meets "The Snow Dragon" (Ca…Read more...