I saw Osvaldo Golijov's opera Ainadamar for the very first time last Tuesday night. Unlike others who have seen the work's contours morph from its beginnings at Tanglewood in 2003, I can only comment on the revised version.
Sketches of thoughts: What an effective and powerful piece of theater. (Then again, the circumstances of my early life were shaped by a regime that banned the peace movement, strikes, labor unions, the free press, new math, long hair on men, mini-skirts, the Beatles, Sophocles, Tolstoy, Aeschylus, Eugene Ionesco, Sartre, Chekhov, Mark Twain, and Samuel Beckett, among other things. So maybe there's a connection and even bias there that might not be present for others, I don't know.)
Some of Golijov's choices were quite surprising to me, and I loved the shock of them: for example, the voice of the flamenco cantaor used not to express suffering and the experience of being oppressed, but instead the voice that inflicts brutality and oppression.
The acoustics of the Rose Theater simply don't work for such a piece.
Overheard on the way out of the theater, an elderly and quite indignant couple:
Man (with exhalation of disgust): "You'd think that Lincoln Center, of all places, would spend more money on such a thing."
Woman: "I know. Wouldn't they have the budget to afford proper Spanish Civil War costumes instead of modern outfits? Really. At least they should have known better!"