Hypocrisy’s Bloom

Sister Angelica has been sentenced to a convent by her aristocratic family to atone for the sin of having a child out of wedlock. Virtually disowned, she yearns for nothing more than to be restored to her family. . .especially to the son she was forced to surrender. This is the tragic tale of Suor Angelica which is currently playing at the Orpheum Theatre under the auspices of Opera Omaha.

This opera is part of Il trittico, a trio of one acts written by Giacomo Puccini dealing with death. And death is definitely a prominent theme. Not just physical death, but also emotional death. Spiritual death. The death of hope. And all of it wrapped in a fetid box of hypocrisy masquerading as faith. In the midst of all this tragedy and gloom rises that mustard seed of faith which truly does have the power to move mountains and grant true peace.

Keturah Stickann really does yeoman work with this production. When a show is this short (barely more than an hour), a director doesn’t have the luxury of a methodical build and resolution. The beats come fast and furious and compel the director to help her or his performers reach emotional highs and lows on the turn of a dime and the spur of a moment. Stickann does this effortlessly. Her direction especially shines with the intense meeting between Sister Angelica and her aunt, La Principessa and Sister Angelica’s descent into a depressive fugue. Stickann even manages to add some humor at the top of the opera w