Cold Sassy Tree : 3 of 5
Austin Lyric Opera's latest production is a very new, very American opera based on the best-selling novel Cold Sassy Tree (which turns out to be the name of the Georgia town in which the story takes place). Let me tell you, this was an interesting experience, but ALO managed to pull it off somehow. As soon as the show opens, you immediately hear folks singing in pure operatic style, yet using terrible Southern grammar and heavy Georgia accents! For the first fifteen minutes, this seems like a very bad idea, believe me! Eventually it seems to tone down, or you get used to it. Things pick up when Miss Love Simpson sings, who was by far the best actress and had the most beautiful voice, making even the main character seem lessened. Acts II and III are enjoyable and the story gets interesting - basically, the opera gets better and better from the first moment. No singable tunes here, just dramatic melodies of semi-recitative. I can say that I prefer traditional opera, but Cold Sassy Tree was an entertaining and educational evening.