Opera in the Heights, 2018


Under director John de los Santos, Opera in the Heights glosses Verdi in contempo business chic. Strikingly designed by Jonathan Dahm Robertson, the unit set looks like the lobby of a lux Ian Schrager hotel. Blood red carpeting and a geometric gray-and-red Mondrian grid dominates. Smart phones are used. Riccardo’s secretary Oscar sports a headset. Courtiers wear sharkskin suits. Fortune teller Ulrica, the first act’s primal, and prime, character who predicts Riccardo’s demise, is a homeless bag lady in soiled mukluks and faux sheepskin coat, engulfed by plastic bags and enthroned on a ratty sofa patched with duct tape. Surprisingly, this update works.

…A Masked Ball looked good and moved well, thanks to director de los Santos .