Upon attending Regina, performed at The Clarice April 8 through April 16, it quickly becomes apparent the opera has anti-capitalist sentimentalities.
A few glamorous chandeliers glittered, suspended above the stage, illuminating a marble spiral staircase, vintage furniture and the performers below resplendent in old-fashioned ball gowns and suits of various colors.
If someone were to examine a scene of the production, it may seem the story is about money and honoring capitalist values. However, it is just the opposite. The audience members are able to watch as greedy members of society tear a family apart in the name of money and material goods.
The namesake of the production, Regina, is the main culprit. She parades around stage in various dresses, most symbolically colored red, manipulating her family and former lovers. She performs a song in which she says to a man she is flirting with he has 1,000 competitors because what she is really in love with are material goods.
There is an especially poignant scene when Regina uses her daughter to trick her husband into coming back home. When he arrives, the audience watches him hobble in with a cane looking beaten. It becomes clear, then, with outstretched arms Regina pretends to love and care for a sick man with the only goal of getting money.
Because of scenes such as this, it’s clear the production has some anti-capitalist themes.
In addition to this, there is the tragedy of innocent Zan, Regina’s daughter, who sings a song about perfect love with a stranger. Toward the beginning of the production, she believes she will be married off to a stranger and it will complete her. There is an evident horror in this naive belief love can come so fast and easily.
Other than the moral questions raised throughout the show, the audience had a large array of visual stimulants to follow with greedy eyes. There was never a time in which anything was still. The ladies, with various colors of dresses, had their skirts attached to one of their wrists so they could swirl them about with extra vigor. When they all spun about the stage at the same time, they seemed to bloom.
The audience left with high pitched voices ringing in their ears and colors still flashing behind their eyelids as they closed their eyes.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Geoff Sheil.
Raye Weigel is a sophomore multiplatform journalism and English major and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.