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Review: Outdoor Opera

By Amy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on May 12, 2008 5:42PM

Leporello%20and%20the%20ladies.JPGPritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park is one of our favorite places in the entire city, but others seem to like it just as much, or at least, take full advantage of all the great free events that are available there each summer.

As a result, free events at the pavilion can be crowded and a little bit hellish. Happily, this was not the case at last Friday’s performance of Don Giovanni, Chicago’s first-ever, live simulcast of Mozart’s beloved opera. As Chicago Opera Theater performed below ground at Harris Theater, the rendition was streamed upwards to the big screen set up on Pritzker’s stage. Billed as a “cultural milestone” for the city, the simulcast was actually a worthy way to catch an opera, giving an intimate look at the action onstage, complete with English subtitles. The actual performance was fantastic; Chicago Opera Theater specializes in fresh interpretations of classic operas, which tends to make an opera plot a lot more believable.

But the weather on Friday drearified the entire screening and made things miserable and cold for the duration of the three-hour performance. Suggestion? Next outdoor screening: be in June, please.

Photo by Liz Lauren