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Our Own JJ (not pictured) surveys the first week of the Met’s season (Eugene Onegin, Cosi fan tutte, The Nose, Norma) for the New York Observer. [Photo: Ken Howard]

  • zinka

    Pardon one of my usual terrible puns, but I am so glad that I picked the Nose, which I attended last night at the Met. It was a fascinating experience, and it struck me that if the level of this production could be sustained throughout all of the repertory, given some of the pretty unpleasant recent new productions, we would be so rewarded.
    I do not quite comprehend all of the references on the giant board that replaces a curtain, and some of the cartoon-like images escaped me, but still the visual effects were spell-binding, coupled with the exciting Shostakovitch score, and the magnificent singing of Paulo Szot, whose huge role was sung (actually more declaimed) brilliantly;his is a fine and resonant voice, and he made this a truly “Enchanted Evening.” (He did Emile de Becque in South Pacific as we recall.)
    A lovely new soprano by the name of Ying Fang, singing a voice and the daughter of Mme.Podtochina appeared to be a future star, possessing a radiant lyric voice, and i see a Pamina in her future plus other lyric roles.
    The role of the Police Inspector, sung by tenor Andrey Popov, starts out with a high E flat and stays way up in the stratosphere throughout the evening. The well-known basso, Vladimir Ognovenko, in several roles, was a standout, among a cast twice the size of that of Louise and War and Peace.
    They placed titles at the foot of the stage, alternating from left to right, and they did not distract as they would, had I might have read the titles at the seats, which I cannot bear, because I go opera to hear voices and to watch the stge, not to READ!
    The opera is perfomered without intermission, and the hour and 45 minutes went by so easily, since not ever can you take your eyes off that stage;there is also an amazing chorus in one scene at which I remarked to myself that this has to be an incredibe company, and how do they learn to stay together in such difficult music? (Well,we know the Met chorus, as well as the orchestra, have now sustained an incredibly brilliant reputation in the entire world of opera.
    Even without cabalettas, it was one of the finest evenings I have spent at the Met. I understand this director does a new Lulu in two years (also no cabalettas) and I look forward to it. I heartily recommend this brilliant theatrical show to all of you, and it will be seen on HD in theatres on Oct.26.
    Thank you, Met, for a glorious show!!! Charlie