By Alysia Glover
I believe this story is timeless and still very relevant centuries later. Sexual assault and victim blaming is still a sensitive but important topic in society. The antagonist in this opera felt that he had a right to assert himself onto Lucretia despite her multiple levels of rejection. Consent is a hot topic today with the conversation of sexual assault and rape culture becoming more common. Aside from addressing sexual assault, the opera also included self-blaming and the feelings that come with it in its storyline. Self-blaming can lead to things like suicide, usually stemming from depression as a result of the initial assault. Although this opera could be seen as slightly dramatic because of the times, I believe the overall message is still something that should be told.
This was my first time attending an opera. Although I have seen a few plays, this was the first time I witnessed a production where the entirety was told in song. I think this means that whatever acting is done must be nuanced and very natural. The reception of the story is entirely dependent on facial expressions and body language. There is no change in the tone of voice or any emotion that can be shown through voice levels that is present in things like musicals or plays. Because of this being an opera, there was a projection screen above the stage with the words to the songs. At times this is a distraction since you cannot seamlessly look at both the screen and the stage. Over times it does become easy, but it is still a hassle in my opinion. All in all, to follow along with the story, one must focus on the words of the songs as well as the movements of the actors and the stage production. When compared to just hearing a monologue versus listening to something being sung, there is more processing that must be done which makes it slightly harder to follow along. In one way, the use of opera to tell this story adds to the emotion displayed and heavily influences the way that the story is told. It does takes some getting used to. I enjoyed the second act of the opera. It included the bulk of the story while the first part was more of an introduction and background to introduce the characters. It kept the audience intrigued and everything unfolded concisely. The story told was very to the point and seemed to move with a fast pace while the first part felt more drawn out.