Photo Credit: John Michael Kennedy
When Carmen premiered in 1875, it was roundly panned by the critics. One hundred forty years later, tastes have certainly changed.
Boston Lyric Opera opened its 40th season with Bizet’s classic about a fiery Spanish temptress, which may explain why many women in the black-tie crowd opted to wear red à la the shady dame from Seville. Prominent among the throng: gala host Willa Bodman and the debonair Taylor, Beacon Hillions Suki and Miguel de Braganca, brunette beauty Susan Poduska and her adoring other half, Bill, equestrienne extraordinaire Diana Rockefeller, Philanthroposaurus rex Teddy Cutler, the ever dapper Arthur Winn, South End nabobs Kurt Gress and Sam Parkinson, force of nature Wendy Shattuck and the always affable Sam Plimpton, Janet “Princess Zhanay” Goff, Duxbury duo Lynn Dale and Frank Wisneski, his gorgeous daughter, Ashley, and her hunky husband, Will Heward, to name a mere smattering.
The evening began with cocktails at the Opera House and continued with the performance of Calixto Bieito’s unexpectedly cutting-edge and mesmerizingly sexy production, which prompted one guest to say, “I don’t even like opera, and I want to see it again.”
After a thunderous standing ovation, guests made their way to the Ritz-Carlton for a dinner of Spanish-inspired delicacies, punctuated by flamenco performances. In fact, the only thing missing was a bullfight.
The evening’s cattiest exchange: “Believe it or not, I cried at the end.”
“Well, I could cry just looking at some of these outfits.”