Just a short note on the Caramoor Puritani earlier tonight...an enriching time had by all, save perhaps for the "classical music date" assholes in front of me who talked almost nonstop for the entire performance and were deaf to my polite shushes. Just so everyone's on the same page: if you're sitting on grass, light talking/other activities are tolerated. If you're in a chair and under a tent, even if you can hear crickets, standard concert hall etiquette prevails. This is understood, right?
Anyhow. Leading the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Will Crutchfeld at the podium set the tone for a finely detailed and quite thoughtful evening. Sumi Jo tore it up to satisfaction as Elvira, although for my money the real stand out was Barry Banks--I'm a bit regretful now I missed his big Pasquale stand in earlier in the year. He really gives the bel canto the full throttle treatment, which I think would have made up for parts of Ernesto where I'll admit I thought JDF a tad too precious. A substantial honorable mention goes to Daniel Mobbs' wonderfully sensitive Giorgio (or whatever the character that has the really nice aria at the beginning of the second act is called). Weston Hurt as Riccardo was ultimately a tad plain for my taste, but no denying a nice sound.
The rest were strong as well. Naturally, one has to be ok with that amount of bel canto to enjoy, but I am, and I did. And Caramoor is real purdy, if you haven't been. This is just the warm-up mind you...I hope to have my first Poodles experience there on the 22nd.