If you missed the chance to go see the Intermountain Opera’s performance of “Camelot,” then you missed a wonderful show. “Camelot” tells the familiar tale of King Arthur and his knights of the round table with a few comedic twists. Songs like “C’est Moi” and “Lusty in the Month of May” bring a different life to characters like Lancelot and Guinevere by showing their boastfulness and, well, lustiness, respectively. And others, like “I Loved You Once in Silence,” helped to remind the audience of the tragic nature of the story, despite its more frequent comedic overtones.
The props and costuming were immaculately done as well. Backgrounds were visually interesting and transformed to incorporate the scenery for multiple locales, which helped to keep things fresh with the same props. In particular, the dull gold of the triangular spires that were used suggested equally well the glow of dawn and the gilded interior of Camelot’s halls. The costumes incorporated suits of armor, court attire and all the in-betweens associated with medieval life, as well as a small armory of weapons. All of this came together to make “Camelot” a visually stunning production.
But even more stunning yet was the sound of the production and what it carried through its emotional heart. The lead actors playing King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot were all in absolute command of the material they were given, and gave each song its own individual soul.
With that being said, to call “Camelot” an opera is to be a little misleading. In fact, officially, “Camelot” is not an opera at all but a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. On closer examination of the performance’s website, the fine print does label the show as a musical, but the impression that it is an opera is still an easy one to arrive at from the show’s advertising. Admittedly, the fact that student tickets were half-priced made it hard to harbor any ill feelings for the perceived shift in style.
In the end, if you missed out on “Camelot,” you may not have missed what you thought you did. That being said, the show was still incredible fun and there is an another opportunity to see the Intermountain Opera at work with, “Eugene Onegin,” an opera composed by Tchaikovsky of “The Nutcracker” fame. The show focuses on aristocratic life in Imperial Russia and tells a tale of romance, duels and tragedy as Eugene brings chaos to a small country village. “Eugene Onegin” opens on April 26.