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Opera Report - My favorite part of Dead Man Walking was Act...

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The production of Dead Man Walking by the CU Opera was an amazing and dynamic performance. From the opening scene, the audience’s attention and interest was caught by the orchestra, which was directed by Timothy Long. Beginning in a polyphonic texture, Long eased the audience into the mood of the opera with a grave introduction, as though forewarning the viewers of the mortal prologue. The introduction lasted approximately ten minutes, beginning with specific instrument families playing and eventually building up to the entire orchestra performing in a minor scale. The orchestra stopped momentarily when the prologue began, allowing two promiscuous teenagers to play their radio music while they made out. As the De Rocher brothers approached and attacked the couple, the radio music was turned off and the orchestra intervened with quick, sudden chords. The orchestra corresponded perfectly with the murderous action in the opera.
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Unformatted text preview: My favorite part of Dead Man Walking was Act I, Scene I, immediately after the murder of the two teenagers. Sister Helen was teaching a whole group of school children a hymn entitled “He Will Gather Us Around.” The hymn defined the mentality of many characters in the opera and the outcome of their situations. Sister Helen used the phrase “He Will Gather Us Around” to comfort Joseph De Rocher when he discovered he will be executed. Scene I was my favorite because it was the most jubilant moment in the entire opera; school children are a symbol of innocence and happy memories. The mood of the performance was grim from that point on because Sister Helen received the letter from De Rocher and traveled to Angola State Prison. Overall, the production of Dead Man Walking was a performance well-worth viewing, on a musical and intellectual level....
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