Cher Public

First sip

UPDATE: A video preview of the new Elisir follows the jump. La Cieca’s spy reports: “Bartlett Sher‘s warm and winning new production of Donizetti’s L‘Elisir d’Amore was presented at today’s annual Opening Night free public dress rehearsal.

The undercover audience member continues:

The most gratifying aspect of the performance was that the characters onstage were presented as three-dimensional, likable people rather than the cartoons that often take the stage in Elisir.

Anna Netrebko, keeping her warm, smoky voice light and free, was a complex and touching Adina, much different from the usual shrill soubrette shrew. Opposite her as Nemorino, Matthew Polenzani gave one of his most accomplished Met performances to date singing with style and nuance and creating a credible, likeable bumpkin that one really rooted for.

Marius Kwiecien can do the swaggering Belcore in his sleep by now but happily his singing featured less bellowing and more agile command than it did this spring opposite Damrau and Florez. Ambrogio Maestri really sang Dulcamara and didn’t camp it up with ancient buffo stage business.

Maurizio Benini‘s quicksilver conducting was a definite improvement over his disaster-prone predecessor last spring. Despite some pretty glaring lighting problems, particularly in act 1 and a snafu involving Dulcamara’s coach which brought the performance to a temporary halt, this new staging is in all ways an improvement over the aging cotton-candy Copley-Montresor eyesore it replaces.

  • Just came from L’Elisir’s final dress rehearsal…

    Simple, clean, decent production. Very a l’epoque. Don’t expect any surprises. Mr. Gelb wished us welcome and said that they chose this opera because it’s about fun and love, since there are so many bad things going around in the world. Pleeaassee!

    All lead singers started shaky then warmed up quickly. I started rolling my eyes when two of his servants weren;t able to open the front door of Dulcamara’s chariot. Then we say 4-5 handymen coming out of nowhere, accompanied by audience’s laughter, who finally opened the damned door and Maestri made his entrance.

    Netrebko is fine, just fine. She seems to have fun on stage, and that’s it. She progressed her Adina compared to the one in Wiener Staatsoper. Perhaps I’m very much addicted to Scotto’s precision and acting with voice. I’m not a fan of Netrebjko, I can comfortably live without her and I still think that her voice placement is in the back not front.

    Polenzani’s wig has to go, period. He somehow made Furtive the showstopper, great pianissimo.

    Kwieczen was outside making a phone call when I entered the house. In 20 minutes he was on stage. Few people can look as handsome as him in uniform. If I were Adina, I would do him on the spot. He sang well, though barely audible in ensembles. Great acting all around. He is wonderful.

    Maestri to me was the star of the show. Huge voice, huge tops, immense acting with voice.

    Chorus good. No idea why there are slow motion men bringing in decors and taking them out. It has a meaning in Satyagraha, not in Elisir. Benini was OK, he seemed wishing he was somewhere else.

    Nothing was more annoying things than the raw sound of moving wall decors while both lead singers were singing the final duet.

    I hoped so much to see Maria Stuarda as the opening gala of the season, but alas we have this one. Although a clean production, I still do not know why Adina wears a top hat and what the hell was wrong with the old production. Although this new one looks better, it does not justify the investment. At the end, Elisir is a masterpiece and it makes everybody happy.

    • MonCoeurSouvreATaVoix

      Taste is relative and you have the right to like and dislike whatever moves you. Still, I thought I’d like to chime in on your statement about the prior production.

      From my point of view, it was precious, it was ugly, and it looked like a “Hello Kitty” lunchbox exploded on the stage. I disliked it intensely. I saw it three times, each with more disgust; the last only because Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Florez were singing.

      Please understand that I am replying solely to explain why so many of us (or at least I) disliked the prior offering and not to criticize your taste. Lots of people like pink and precious, and that’s fine and none of my business.

      Thanks for your comments about the dress rehearsal. I don’t have tickets until January, and am glad to read what you had to say.

      Oh and, yes, I wonder about the top hat too. Why would Adina wear a top hat?

      • armerjacquino

        Why wouldn’t she? Sometimes people wear top hats.

        • Porgy Amor

          I could not find either the Brindisi or the Sleepwalking Scene (drat!), but there is some good use of a top hat at 0:47 here.

      • Dear MonCoeurSouvreATaVoix,

        I clearly undersatnd the point you’re making. I absolutely prefer the new production to the older one, no doubt. It’s just that I was expecting a much different approach to justify the change and investment, something to make the opening night memorable.

        I deeply feel for you because of the Damrau/Florez experience. I lived through such a disaster with that duo in Fille du Regiment.

        All my best,

      • rossifigaro

        doesn’t she somehow “confiscate” the hat from dulcamara?

  • Aida Lottapasta

    This was a safe, boring production -- and I say this as someone who has admired Sher’s more adventurous work in the past (in the good old days when he directed Mourning Becomes Electra) -- but this was a snooze from start to finish.

    Why they replaced the old production with this is beyond me. It wasn’t offensive, and I gather that is what they were after. Traditionalists will like it. People who like their theater (and opera is theater for some!) with a bit of a pulse will enjoy the music and wish a little more creative thought was put into bringing the piece to life.

    Polenzani sang very well. Netrebko was fine -- but it certainly wasn’t a star turn -- there is nothing special about this Adina. Kwiecien is hot with a nice voice, though the role -- and the direction -- gave him little to show what a strong performer he can be ( for that, one has to go watch the video of his Onegin from the Bolshoi -- but then again, there he was working with a director who challenged him ) -- I think that really sums it up for me -- Sher was really lazy with this one, and it shows.

    • I attended today’s performance and co-sign this wholeheartedly. The new production reeks of mediocre, middle-class inoffensiveness, plus a top hat--seemingly in use only because it was used in the publicity photos from nine months ago. Not awful in the least, but not an exciting or daring opening production either. King Gelb is dead! Long live King Gelb!

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Sher detests opera and is a total disgrace to the the world of opera. The closeups on the HD will probably make them all look adorable.

    • armerjacquino

      ‘Sher detests opera…’

      *stops reading*

    • messa di voce

      “The closeups on the HD will probably make them all look adorable.”

      And the problem is?

  • I noticed Ambrogio Maestri and Erwin Schrott share the role of Dulcamara but Maestri gets the HD.

    • manou

      Yes, but Schrott gets the girl.

      • bluecabochon

        Manou FTW.

  • Porgy Amor

    Macbeths Honor wrote: “I started rolling my eyes when two of his servants weren;t able to open the front door of Dulcamara’s chariot. Then we say 4-5 handymen coming out of nowhere, accompanied by audience’s laughter, who finally opened the damned door and Maestri made his entrance.”

    If it got a laugh, they should incorporate it into all future performances. It was probably funnier than anything that was actually planned, and it could be made to seem Sher’s meta statement on theatrical foibles.

    • la vociaccia

      Meta at the Met? Too highbrow to be true. We can dream though

      • Donna Carlo

        We differ. For me, Mehta at the Met would be a nightmare.

  • brooklynpunk

    The major thing that really bugged me , at this afternoon’s dress rehearsal was--the conducting of Maurizio Benini, which seemed to lurch from slow to fast tempi(s) in -what sounded to me- a very bizarre and unpleasant to the ear-way.

    I found the production itself an inoffensive snore-fest.

    WHAT where the Soldiers wearing on their heads???

    • grimoaldo

      Did you enjoy the singing bp? Were you glad you went or was the whole thing a snooze fest?

  • messa di voce

    Don’t understand people questioning the decision to mount a new production.

    The old one was over 20 years old, it was hideous the day it opened, a good cast was available, it’s not an expensive opera to produce, it’s an important opera that is useful to have in the repertoire, it’s easy to cast these days.

    Why not?

    • armerjacquino

      Well said. ‘Why do a new production?’ is a rather scary question, really.

  • Semiotic

    I found this production to be horribly designed. I thought Jennifer Tipton was dead but it turns out she’s just gone blind. Most of the production (from the balcony) is too dark for a comedy (giacoso), awash with follow-spots that are not reinforcing but rather just necessary to see the principals within all the gloom and darkness. I am sure that the production looks better head-on, for those who can afford orchestra seats, and it will look good on the HD, but anywhere above the dress circle and it is visually a hot mess. There is an overbearing false proscenium that I swore was going to fly out but never did. Instead it obstructed about 60% of the architectural proscenium, and about half of the interior décor for those watching from above, who were subjected to a pathetic floor treatment that was not aided at all by the lighting design. By the last scenes, the design fell apart when viewed from above, presenting an incoherent mess; waving wheat only looks good when approached directly, not from above; the ugly false proscenium, which created a kind of black hole, truncated the CS tree, which was the only other scenic element). I am sure that this is the new HD, flat-screen design aesthetic at the MET, but there used to be productions that were visually impressive for every audience member in the house. Boo!

    • bluecabochon

      I agree with Semiotic that the design offered a huge “F**K You” to anyone sitting higher than Dress Circle or maybe even Grand Tier. Gelb, Yeargan and Sher need to sit in Family Circle Center Row F to see how this show reads. The painted floor looked like a broccoli souffle, which was fitting, as the center stage tree looked like a huge leaning stalk of broccoli!

      The show drop is a lovely pastoral painting of a distant Italian hill town under a brilliant blue sky, which promises light and air, but you get none of this upstairs. I also kept expecting that clunky false proscenium to fly out and up. 12 more feet upwards would have helped the sightlines so much -- insane to have such a high proscenium and not use it!! I knew that there were wheat fields and probably a nice backdrop of hills and sky, but I had to imagine it.

      We were able to move down to Orchestra row S house right after intermission, which changed the sightlines, but I can’t say that it improved them. The scene painting was charming and the old-fashioned flats combined with dimensional pieces didn’t offend me.

      It was nice to look at a stage full of pretty costumes, and the rather top-heavy women’s chorus looked great in their well-built bodices and gowns.

      There is no reason for that top hat on Anna, but she looked fine otherwise. I rather liked the Steampunk fashion on Dulcamara’s henchmen and the costumes generally were fine -- fresh and new-looking, with lovely millinery and a good distinction made between country farm and city fashions.

      The performance was pleasant but no one seemed truly engaged for me other than Maestri and Anna in Act 2. Polenzani can be inert onstage but this was the most animated that I’ve seen him. I thought he looked handsome and may have even lost some weight. I found no fault with the singing except for the Giannetta, who was quite shrill toward the end. I wish that I could rave about Kwiecen but I hardly noticed him.

      There were a number of light cues being tried out that were distracting, and a couple of scenic odd moments, aside from the wagon door that they couldn’t open. It must have worked previously as they didn’t stop to run the entrance again.

      I saw the previous production in the 1980s and it was not hideous at all. It was a specific style and aesthetic of stage design that has passed, and it was light-hearted and consistent. You can’t say that about many productions since, sadly.

      I usually don’t attend the comic operas as I rarely find them amusing at the Met and this was no exception. While I was happy to have seen this via my rare winning of tickets, I’ll happily go back to my usual fare of tragedy. :)

      This would be a good choice for someone’s first opera, if anyone is faced with What To Offer A Newbie.

      • messa di voce

        Montressor was a genius with the lost art of painted flats, but the old Elisir was too late in the game. I agree with Moncoeur’s dead-on description of it as an exploded “Hello Kitty” lunch box.

        • bluecabochon

          The Hello, Kitty line is amusing but bears no relation to Beni’s work, so perdona; I am wearing my heart on my sleeve here, having had the pleasure of working for him on a few projects.

          Beni was an artist and a true man of the theatre, and even though some of his work is considered antiquated today, he could never be accused of creating an environment devoid of point of view or passion. The Elisir that I saw yesterday used an similar old-fashioned convention to his production, the painted flat, (though for Beni it was often a painted drop) and while the painting itself was mostly lovely and accomplished, and represented an Italian hill town most picturesquely (what I could see of it, that is) there was no THERE there, to use favorite, if tired, descriptive terms, which was consistent with the direction. There was no comment by the creators about this story, etc, just a pretty production that for me never really came to life, but it was only a dress, even though it felt like a performance. I believe that even a light-hearted piece must have meaning that can be assigned to it, or why bother going to the expense and effort?

          One interesting factoid about Beni was that he would light on a design idea and use it for a number of very different productions until he had exhausted its possibilities and moved on to something else. When I worked with him, he was swell into a period of experimenting with metallic textures and applique, and ombres of color, and his ELISIR was part of this artistic exercise. He destroyed some rental costumes in the process, so it wasn’t always a benign exercise to some costume vendors, truth be told, but the results were often spectacular.

          Like many set and costume designers who worked (and still, do) with directors who sometimes had no idea what they were doing, or proved unable to follow through with a concept to completion, Beni excelled at subtly (and not so subtly) providing ideas (or direction) where none existed. He was a skilled storyteller (who also wrote and illustrated children’s books) whose lovely work is under-appreciated today.

  • Camille

    Another instance, perhaps more successful, of top hats at the Met:

    • The_Kid

      How adorable <3

    • perfidia

      Say waht you want about how different Bubbles’ public persona was from real life, she had a touch with popular stuff that Fleming could never have. Then again, she grew up in a culture where variety shows and show music were still a valid, popular form of entertainment.

  • The Vicar of John Wakefield

    Where are the stirring voices of yore?

    Metropolitan Opera House
    January 2, 2006

    L’ELISIR D’AMORE {248}

    Belcore……………..Peter Coleman-Wright
    Dr. Dulcamara………..Andrew Shore [Debut]

  • ardath_bey

    Definitely not a improvement over the last production, which never bothered me like it does so many of you, I saw it live 15-plus times, then the Pavarotti/Battle dvd several other times, etc. It was colorful, magical and unpretentious like the score. No creativity or invention in Sher’s concept. The sets are generic, the costumes conventional. Not opening night material. The barn set’s identical to the saloon in Fanciulla. And let’s admit that Sher’s got no flare for comedy, indeed the funniest thing yesterday was unintentional, the assistants desperately trying to open Dulcamara’s wagon. They should keep it. And what was that rifles smuggling going on behind Dulcamara’s wagon during his aria about? Silly & unnecessary distraction.

    The magic of L’Elisir d’Amore is Adina’s repressed love for Nemorino finally bursting out at the end of the opera. Bart Sher misses that by turning Adina into Carmen with a top hat, extrovert, fearless, jumping around, fighting with a sword, biting Belcore on the lips, etc. That’s not the character. I don’t see Netrebko’s Adina sophisticated enough to repress anything. The revelation of her love for Nemorino at the end is watered down and it comes through as just another one of Netrebko’s Adina eccentricities. For this alone the production has failed.

    Vocally I was *very* pleased with Anna, she’s a totally different singer from the one we heard in Don Pasquale in 06 or Puritani in 07. Much more focused, the runs, high notes and coloratura much more precise. It’s still mostly an imitation of bel canto, but a darn good imitation I must say. Polenzani’s a great singer (with a generic, dull tenor sound) but definitely not an opera star, never will be, no charisma and surely not a comedian. He’s the only miscast, not in the same caliber of the other singers. Maestri good but awkward. Very little chemistry between him and the rest of the cast. The voice of Kwiecen always pleases me like the rest of him, superb, elegant, funny and so very strapping. Benini’s conducting: overly concerned with unnecessary detail failing to ignite. Bring back Levine, who loves the score.

    • lucy brown

      I found the production enchanting. Polenzani, who underwhelmed me in the past, was adorable (although I’ve heard sweeter renditions of Una Furtiva Lagrima); Anna was funny and generous in her performance. Kwiecen was surprisingly inaudible at times… it’s one thing to mark at a closed rehearsal, but dude! There’s an audience here! And Maestri was a riot. The sets are cartoonish but very appropriate and attractive. The orchestra made one or two very bizarre sounds, but was generally fine. I’d like to see it again once Schrott comes in…

  • See the “First Sip” posting for a video preview of Elisir!

    • Clita del Toro

      I just don’t get it; loud, throaty, expressionless singing. Was this Anna or Adina? I heard no difference. But, that’s just me.

      • Porgy Amor

        I liked her singing of this more in the Vienna one with Villazon (when was that, ’05?), and I preferred the costumes and especially the staging of this part there too. This one is so dark that they look like the Wälsung twins on the run. Maybe if I saw it in context it would work better.

      • messa di voce

        How does one hear a “difference” between the singer and the role they are singing?

        “Was this Maria or Norma? I heard no difference.”

        • Clita del Toro

          Messa: I meant Anna Bolena, not Anna N. LOL As far as Callas is concerned, Maria WAS Norma.

          • Clita : how’s the Ring doin’? :)

          • Clita del Toro

            To clarify, To me, Trebs sounded the same as Adina as she did as Anna Bolena.

            But I love the sentence, “How does one hear a “difference” between the singer and the role they are singing?” That would be a good trick question for the Opera Quiz! LOL

          • messa di voce

            OK, makes more sense now!

          • messa di voce

            ‘But I love the sentence, “How does one hear a “difference” between the singer and the role they are singing?” That would be a good trick question for the Opera Quiz! LOL’

            The layers of persona theory one could explore are mind-boggling.

          • I agree that this is no longer an Adina voice. I felt the same about her Norina (though she still gave a great performance with what she had).

    • louannd

      I liked it. Definitely not “Hello Kitty,” more like Elisir with the set for Carmen. They at least seem to be having a good time.

      • messa di voce

        Agree. If this is representative of the whole show, I’m going to like it a lot.

      • Clita del Toro

        CF I am now in Act III of Walküre and am especially impressed by the direction/acting and the Wotan. Elming is very sexy and acts well, but falls a bit short in the voice department.
        I would be further on into the Ring, but have been bit busy lately. Can’t wait to see the Siegfried and GD (and with Waltraud Meier)! The sound is excellent. Love the production so far.

        • I’m happy you like it. Wait for the Waltraute scene. Wow! And I quite like Evans, she sings sweetly and in tune and is convincing. Which is a lot nowadays.

        • Porgy Amor

          Besides everything else, a double dip of the irrepressible Graham Clark. This time I was glad they promoted the Loge to the (later) Mime, just to have more of him.

    • adina

      Very interesting clip -- a lot more physical than the old E’lisir. I would love to be Matthew Polenzani’s Adina. Also, I have to agree about the broccoli stalk in the middle of the set. Wish I could be there opening night.

      • adina

        Sorry -- L’elisir

      • messa di voce

        “a lot more physical than the old E’lisir.”

        Try and imagine Battle pulling the Pav down on top of herself like that.

  • I like the 1990s Elisir from Lyon set in the 30s. The Vienna Elisir is a bore IMO :(

  • Donna Anna

    I love this production from the Licieu and with this cast. The staging captures the essence the period, the place and the prelude to the second act (a scratchy recording of an Italian love song during the wedding feast) is just right. RV could still sing the hell out of the role and deserved the encore for Una furtiva. Everyone is having a great time and the finale’s reprise of Dulcamara’s verses is in keeping with the sense of fun.

    • ilpenedelmiocor

      JUST QUOTING (the sole youtube comment:

      “La dizione e il fraseggio della Bayo sono orrendi. Non ha il? minimo senso del legato.”

  • Donna Anna

    The reprise starts at 3:50. Enjoy!

  • louannd

    Ah, Renata Scotto -- no problems enjoying this:

    • messa di voce

      The best Elisir!

      • Clita del Toro

        Brava Renata, Bravo Carlo--that’s the way to sing this music!

        • Clita del Toro

          Does anyone know the year of this l’Elisir clip?

          • louannd

            I think I saw it elsewhere on Youtube and it said 1967.

          • It is available on DVD from VAI. Well worth getting!

    • Magnificent!

      • Clita del Toro

        Louannd, thanks.

    • messa di voce

      Scotto really is just about perfect here.

  • louannd

    Another nice rendition of Prendi per mei sei libero -- I don’t know this voice at all and she appears to be a strikingly beautiful woman -- Rosanna Carteri

    • armerjacquino

      You’ve got a treat in store discovering Carteri- the best TRAV letter and ‘Addio del Passato’ on record. And she recorded a lovely Angelica, too, when she was something mad like 21.

    • Porgy Amor

      If you want to see her as well as hear her, don’t overlook the Serafin/Graf/RAI FALSTAFF film available on VAI, with Carteri part of a real murderers’ row of 1950s Italian-opera talent: Taddei, Colombo (the best Ford I have ever seen or heard), Barbieri, Moffo and Alva. Note some cast overlap with the Karajan recording, which came very shortly thereafter.

      Some of us were talking elsewhere here of TRAVIATAs in which Alfredo was older than his father. Here, we have something I suppose is even more common, but an extreme case of it: visually, the Ford women would be more likely sisters than mother/daughter. At the time of the telecast, Carteri was 26, Moffo 24.

      • There’s also a grainy but absolutely lovely video of La Rondine with Carteri that’s a live performance. Also an RAI film of Otello with MdM and Renato Capecchi.

    • The_Kid

      OMG i can’t believe someone beat me to posting this…
      she is WONDERFUL. i read somewhere that tebaldi considered her to be a huge threat!

      • The_Kid

        ….’somewhere’ being the YT comments. :P

  • tancredipasero

    Oops -- accidentally posted the following in the wrong thread. Apologies to anybody reading it twice.

    Having bailed out of Elisir in boredom, i’ll give a quick account of Act One. Boredom mostly due to Bartlett Sher – is there anybody who respects him as an opera director? This looked like any overacted high-school musical – anything to keep people in frenetic motion, zero finesse or comic timing, and not very careful attention to the story. Adina and Nemorino are presented as Musetta and Marcello – long-time lovers who are on the outs currently, but whose inevitable reunion is obvious from the start. They are seated *à deux* at Adina’s reading table, and it goes from there – their freedom in touching each other would read, even in a contemporary setting which this seemingly isn’t, as that of people who have clearly spent a good deal of time in bed together… And why not? Mightn’t they have? I guess so, but it sorta removes the only charm the slender story has.

    Much unclarity throughout – Dulcamara, Belcore and Nemorino seemed to run through all possible attitudes towards one another in no particular order. I’d call it sub-professional, actually. The funniest part was Belcore singing about the fact that he’s refraining from using his hands *while* employing his hands to strike Nemorino.

    Netrebko did well what she always does well – producing totally open-throated, totally relaxed upper-middle and high notes without a hint of strain and with a lot of honest beauty – and did poorly what she always does poorly (agility passages – not too prominent in Act One – and Italian pronunciation). There’s not much color or interest in the middle, and not much in the way of phrasing. She should really stay with the repertory where most of the phrase-shaping is built in to the orchestral score and the music mostly just needs a beautiful voice slathered onto it. One wouldn’t want to judge her acting in this mess; she flounced and pouted vigorously.

    Kwiecen pretty much bellowed – his voice is still handsome but already starting to show loose vibrato and dryness on the pumped-up high notes.

    Maestri – if he were trying to sing Belcore one would probably have something similar to say about him, but it was a pleasure to hear a Dulcamara whose voice could ride the high tessitura, and a genuine (and very big) Italianate sound. Some roughness and iffy pitch, but not more than is usual for buffo parts.

    Polenzani – really impressive for the way he keeps the voice free and collected in the difficult F to A region on top. I sort of regret not staying for his big aria. Also: attractive tone and *non-phony soft singing* – the timbre stays consistent, the notes connect into a line. And he has no trouble singing full voice without strain. I think he deserves a lot of credit – this kind of medium-light lyric tenor often turns dry and patchy in middle age. He shows no sign of that. Overacted like everybody else, but what’s he gonna do?

    Benini – sloppy and boring as usual. A prediction: When Michele Mariotti starts doing bel canto operas here, the decades-long Met tradition of weak conducting in this rep will be broken (and the people who don’t realize what we’ve been missing will realize it). No predictions as to how he will do with Carmen (well, one hopes) but he is definitely the guy for making Rossini et al lively, precise and elegant, and bringing real life to the orchestral participation, *while* breathing with the singers, etc.

    Bottom line, though – the show as a whole has the charm of a very stale Whitman’s Sampler, and except for checking in with Polenzani’s estimable progress I can’t see much reason for attending.

    • Vergin Vezzosa

      “she flounced and pouted vigorously”

      Anna has obviously taken a cue from some of us who frequent this site.

      Thanks for the review. It seems that I was wise to stay home instead and watch the premiere of this season’s Dancing with the Stars. I had a lot of impure, non-virginal thoughts watching some of those boys on TV. More even than than tonight’s Belcore could provide.

      • Camille

        Very funny.

        Who were the *stars* on the Dancing With The Stars? Remember?

        • Vergin Vezzosa

          All-Stars returning. Gilles, Drew, Helio, Emmitt. Pros Max and his brother and the operatically named Tristan among others. The girls include Kirstie Alley (“La Bovina”) and Pamela Anderson (“La Bovinetta”).

          • Camille

            I thought “La Bovina” had already been on the show and won it or came in second?

          • Vergin Vezzosa

            Yes, they are all returnees from prior seasons. To atone for even knowing that, I will spend the rest of the night restoring my equilibrium by listening to… about Einstein on the Beach?, as it has been of topical interest lately.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Excellent review! “… is there anybody who respects him as an opera director?” Yes, obviously the misguided Yellow Man.

    • Clita del Toro

      Tancredi: I agree with you about Netrebko in l”Elisir. No real phrasing or sculpting of the vocal line, which to me= not much in the way of expression. As I said on the chat, she seems to plow her way through the music, banking on her big, gorgeous voice to wow everyone. IMO, she sings everything in this manner. Her coloratura was okay tonight.

  • taminosboyfriend

    Did someone record the Met Opening night? I had poor reception and lost a big part of the second act. Thanks!