Pearls of wisdom
“It’s the end of the world as we know it, remarks Betsy Ann Bobolink. “Word has reached House of Bobolink that in a recent experimental staging (unnamed, but you should be able to decipher the clues) not one character rolled on the floor, nor collapsed to the floor, nor even knelt on the floor!!! All characters behaved like recognizable bipeds; that is to say, they stood, they walked, they sat, some even reclined on furniture provided for that purpose.”
Clutching pearls, she continued, “If one of the most cherished of all operatic cliches is so rudely flaunted, can Extending-Arms-from-the-Elbows be far behind? Thank the Good Name of St. Sondra Radvanovsky, no such heresies are displayed in today’s Chattable offerings.”
11:00-3:00 LRT KLASIKA: TANNHAUSER from ROH. Johan Botha falls to the floor several times, an event which usually passes unnoticed. 2 F.K.
11:45-2:00 ABC CLASSIC FM: Parry’s JOB. Peter Coleman-Wright quite Wrightly spends most of his time writhing in agony on the floor. (No data to rate.)
12:00-3:30 SVERIGES P2: RUSALKA from Goteborg. (No data to rate.) The entire Ball scene is staged on the floor, with the dancers waving their legs in the air.
12:00-4:00 ESPACE MUSIQUE: MATILDE DI SHABRAN 2 F.K. Both Juan Diego Florez and Olga Peretyatko roll around quite a bit, and if that doesn’t send a frisson up your spine, you’re beyond hope.
1:00-4:30 WFMT American Opera Network: LUCREZIA BORGIA. 4 F.K. Fabiano’s on the floor as dictated by the script; Fleming falls to the floor in sympathy. There! Now THAT’S real theatre.
1:00-4:00 BBC 3: A RAKE’S PROGRESS from Scottish Opera. (No data to rate, but Edgar Montvidas shows promise) Lots of kneeling, groping, wallowing.
1:00-5:00 CBC TWO: A FLORENTINE TRAGEDY and GIANNI SCHICCHI from Canadian Opera. 2 F.K. Of course he’s lying down; he’s DEAD, Numb Nuts!
1:00-4:00 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR: Schweitzer’s ROSAMUNDE. 2 F.K. If you haven’t heard this, it’s worth a listen. Features a parade of soldiers marching on their knees.
1:00-4:00 DWOJKA POLSKIE: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO from Verbier. 2 F.K. Having Barbarina crawl around is a nice touch, floor-wise; I mean, you don’t find lost pins floating in the air like gnats, right?
1:00-5:00 FRANCE MUSIQUE, also RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS: CAPRICCIO from Paris. 3 F.K. Just because they’re aristocrats doesn’t mean they can’t fall to the floor in an alcoholic stupor.
1:00-4:30 NPR World of Opera: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO from Glyndebourne. 2 F.K. It is de rigeur that the Count, Countess, Figaro, Susanna, Cherubino roll around in lust, but having Don Curzio skooch across the stage on his butt like a puppy with worms is icing on the cake.
1:00-5:00 NRK KLASIK and NRK P2: SIEGFRIED from Munich. 3 F.K. Dead dragon – check. Dead Mime – check. Sleeping Brunnhilde – check. All very proper. (Sleeping demi-goddesses suspended in mid-air, indeed!)
1:00-4:30 WCNY, WQXR: FAUST from San Francisco. 3 F.K. Everybody gets floor-time in this production, including Wagner, who has to catch the rat before he can sing about it. Kudos for inventiveness.
1:00-5:00 RADIO CLASICA DE ESPANA: Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” Symphony. (No data to rate.) Concert performances are difficult to put on the floor, but these folks manage. The sight of those trombone slides going up and down, up and down, will bring tears to your eyes.
1:00-5:00 RTP ANTENA 2: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM from Chicago. 3 F.K. Titania’s on her Bottom, naturally.
1:00-4:00 WRR: LA CENERENTOLA. 2 F.K. Teresa Berganza was a notorious flooraphobe, so the stage was rigged with various tripwires to bring her into compliance.
1:30-6:00 BARTOK RADIO: PARSIFAL from Bayreuth. 2 F.K. (Burkhard Fritz is worth your time) Bayreuth is showing dangerous modernist tendencies by NOT staging this under a highway overpass.
1:30-5:00 MDR FIGARO: Concert featuring Chrysanthi Spitadi. (No data to rate.) I am not familiar with the work of Chrysanthi Spitadi. Can she be floored? Does anyone know? Or is that Czech for “No flash cameras”?
1:30-4:30 RADIO OESTERREICH: MIGNON from Geneva. 2 F.K. (Best show of the day.) A horizontalist’s dream opera; lots of writhing, rolling, mopping, swabbing. Bravi!
2:00-4:00 CATALUNYA MUSICA: Music of the Early Classic Period with Jaroussky, Lemieux. Philippe Jaroussky on the floor! (Be still, me heart.) With Marie-Nicole Lemieux ! Now there’s a non-event.
2:00-5:30 CESKY ROZHLAS VLTAVA: LA CENERENTOLA from Paris. 3 F.K. (for Camarena). Both step-sisters end up on the floor, dejected and defeated.
2:00-6:00 KLARA: LES PECHEURS DE PERLES from The Netherlands Opera. 3 F.K. Castronovo and Lapointe are on the floor during the entire opera — usually together. Massis does not lie down, but she does lean precariously at one point.
2:00-5:00 LYRIC FM: THE APOSTLES. 2 F.K. (Coote, Groves, Umbrailo are nice). No chairs out in the wilderness, so sitting on the floor is just about the only option.
2:00-5:00 RADIO STEPHANSDOM: Vivaldi’s ARSILDA (no data to rate). Not many people know that “The Red Priest” was a cover for Vivaldi’s REAL nickname — “Mr. Mirror.” At parties he would feign drunkeness just so he could lie on the floor for a better peek.
2:30-4:00 YLE KLASSINEN: Busoni’s ARLECCHINO. 2 F.K. It’s commedia dell’arte: you do the math.