And this week, the Washington Nationwide Opera and its Cafritz Younger Artists program are rolling up on unsuspecting Arlingtonians with performances from its freshly tricked-out pop-up opera truck — a typical shifting van retrofitted through Baltimore corporate the Live performance Truck right into a cell venue, entire with piano, lighting fixtures, sound and, as is de rigueur, numerous plexiglass.
I stuck certainly one of two afternoon performances on Tuesday in Crystal Town, the place the truck had pulled into the cul-de-sac in the back of the Courtyard Inexperienced, using the plaza of the Nationwide Cooperative Financial institution development as an ersatz amphitheater.
A pair dozen folks strayed over from the adjoining farmers marketplace (the place, facet word, some extremely profitable empanadas can also be had), lured through Cafritz Director Robert Ainsley’s rallying intro, the primary notes of William Woodard’s piano, and the acquainted coloratura spikes of “Der Hölle Rache” from Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte,” right here powerfully sung through soprano (and Cafritz Younger Artist) Suzannah Waddington. Her silvery voice scaled the facade of the development because the atmosphere solar perceived to stall awhile to pay attention.
This impromptu meeting benefited bass William Meinert, whose confident and polished tackle “In diesen heilg’en Hallen” (Sarastro’s aria from “Zauberflöte”) nonetheless struggled to surmount surges of side road noise. By the point Meinert adopted Waddington’s “Jewel Track” with Mephistopheles’s aria, “Vous qui faites l’endormie” from Gounod’s “Faust,” he had secured extra cast footing inside the plaza’s intrusive acoustics — it was once even oddly in music with a passing educate at one level.
And thus we come to the opposite key participant within the efficiency: the sector round it. Horns honking, planes making their very-final descent, sirens heckling from across the community — they arrive with the territory of acting outdoor in any town. However there’s one thing about opera in its present freed/exiled state that makes the intrusion of the out of doors global really feel particularly merciless.
For the entire energy and dramatic pressure opera can generate, it stays a sublimely inclined shape, its myth created onstage and tenuously safe from the weather through the eggshell protect of the proscenium. Right here, out of doors some of the hum and honk of afternoon site visitors, it doesn’t in point of fact stand a possibility.
(Please word: This must be taken extra as me indulging in pent-up essential whimpering and pining for the go back of a few type of customary than as any more or less slight in opposition to the efforts of both of the performers — either one of whom I’d love to listen to minus coughing buses — or the WNO. Outreach efforts such because the pop-up truck are the most important to keeping up a spot for the humanities in our much-abused public awareness via this prolonged intermission. However those tastes of what’s been taken away are not anything if now not bittersweet.)
After a couple of deftly sung display tunes — Waddington taking “I May Have Danced All Evening” from “My Honest Girl,” and Meinert making a song “Some Enchanted Night” from “South Pacific” — the 2 singers got here in combination (is fairly) for “Là ci darem los angeles mano,” the “duettino” between storied dirtbag Don Giovanni and Zerlina.
In all probability it was once simply the semblance of 2 singers at the identical change level, or the unusual spectacle of 2 maskless people connecting in public, or possibly it was once the enthusiasts’ chemistry coded into the tune through Mozart himself — however the nearer in this little 30 minutes teaser of a program hinted on the seductive powers of opera (to not point out the Don).
Those novel little samples of the grandeur we’re lacking might depart you hungering for one thing extra really extensive, however they may be able to additionally remind us why we’re ready so patiently for the acting arts to go back within the first position. (Within the period in-between, the ones empanadas in point of fact hit the spot.)
The Washington Nationwide Opera’s pop-up truck shall be again in Arlington on Friday at two places: three p.m. at Quincy Park, 1021 N. Quincy St., and six p.m. at Penrose Sq. Plaza, 2501 S. 9th Rd.