The 2008 Turin production of Thais by Stefano Poda has been a huge success here in São Paulo, and I had the pleasure of being at a performance yesterday evening. And a great evening in the theatre it was with a piece that is far from easy to make its effect. Clearly great care was lavished on it with exceptional dancers, fine work by the chorus, and a production that had clearly been thoroughly well prepared in this revival. Impressive!
And it was so encouraging to find an audience of much less than the usual average age that one encounters in the UK - and drawn as well from a wide ranging socio economic demographic. The secret is of course cost of access. The top price in this lovely theatre (built 1911) is £24, middle price £16, and bottom price £12. The enthusiasm and appreciation of the audience was heart warming to witness. So opera is alive and well for the younger crowd in São Paulo at least!
My auditions here yesterday yielded one really excellent finalist as well as three for the waiting list. I am in Buenos Aires tomorrow (flying from here this evening) and go on to Mexico City on Saturday. These two cities should yield the final few that we need.......but leaving space for a South African or two - I am off to Cape Town on August 10!