Music Traditions Incorporated, a new local not-for-profit opera company, is ambitiously bringing some classical culture to this year’s Orlando Fringe in the form of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium
. Madame Flora (Natalie Doliner at the press preview; Angeliz Bula at select shows) is a fraudulent psychic who fleeces grieving families with the aid of her daughter Monica (Aleksandra Vargas, alternating with Katy Garner) and mute servant Toby (Tyler Price). When one of Flora’s pseudo-spirits seemingly manifests in a far more physical form than she expected, the charlatan’s drunken descent from deviousness into delirium proves deliciously operatic in this tidy little gothic tragedy.
Based on the media preview, the entire cast is admirably able to fill the Margeson’s rafters without benefit of microphone amplification, making Menotti’s haunting harmonies audible above music director Sergei Kossenko’s emotive keyboard accompaniment. I do wish that The Medium
was staged in a more intimate space than the arena-like Orange Venue, so that they could reproduce some of the fortuneteller’s flim-flam effects. Even without that immersive element, this production of The Medium
is still a well-sung slice of serious art; I hope it won’t get overlooked amid a sea of more frivolous fare.
Tickets and show info: The Medium