Cher Public

Nuns, but the lonely heart…

oryLa Cieca though you might be amused, or at least bemused, by a few published reactions to LoftOpera. 

“It’s a perfect union of New York’s most raucous and delightful opera company with one of the most raucous and delightful works in the repertory. . . . the irresistible music is executed with such stylish confidence.” — New York Times

“The highest praise I can give LoftOpera’s presentation of this problematic work is that they made of it something not only profound but also shattering. . . . Despite the immense physical demands placed on the singers—hyperrealistic violence, dragging around massive swaths of cloth, not to mention hitting their marks for the video cameras—they sang with an exquisite balance of passion and precision. ” — Observer

“LoftOpera offers a creative, sustainable model for how to produce opera, one that suggests a whole host of possibilities for the form. Such reinvention of old ideas is cause for excitement, an acute sense of renaissance. For example, much of the evening reminded me of the spirited ethos of 1960s off-off-broadway theater, a widely documented matrix of extreme creativity, experimentation, and revolution.” — parterre box

“[T]he secret to Loft’s success, I contend, is that, more than any opera company I can name, their productions draw inspiration and wisdom from the scores and libretti of the operas they present. Every story is clear and musical values are honored. . . . Loft Opera effectively makes the case for live opera more than any American company right now.” — WQXR

“People have been doing this at least since Peter Sellars set his Don Giovanni in Spanish Harlem. . . . this avant-garde is so old hat.” — Stephen Wadsworth, Director of Opera Studies, Juilliard

“While at Juilliard we can have a 7- or 8-year-old violinist who performs on par with adults, that simply can’t happen with voice. You don’t even really start vocal training for opera until 18, and it doesn’t blossom into its fullest flower until 25 or 30, depending on the physiology.” — Brian Zeger, Artistic Director of Vocal Arts, Julliard; former Executive Director, Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Development Program

Photo: Robert Altman

  • Who is Natus?
    Is there a “block” function on Parterre?

    • Er… Christus Natus est, no?

    • armerjacquino

      Natus is someone who leads with ‘tasteless idiot’ when describing people of a different opinion, then complains of being attacked when someone asks a couple of questions.

      • Natus

        Dude, there have GOT to be some political flamewars online you can insert yourself into with as much dexterity as you’ve done here. You’re just looking for a fight, and your hairsplitting semantics are tiresome.

        • armerjacquino

          Could you give me an example of hairsplitting semantics please? It’s just you keep making unfounded accusations.

          As for ‘looking for a fight’- again, you’re the one who led with ‘tasteless idiot’, thus labelling anyone who had been enthusiastic about the production. Seems pretty fighty to me.

  • Hippolyte
  • Natus

    From the Village Voice:

    “Aesthetically and spiritually, the production has more in common with a low-budget pantomime than what you’d normally register as high art, but musically, they pulled off the lighthearted comedy without a hitch.”

    I’d say that’s the most accurate capsule review I’ve read thus far.

    • fletcher

      Based on that article, it sounds like a fun show and exactly the sort of thing that can bring new audiences to opera. So far your objections seem to be that you didn’t like the production and other people did. Why do you think irreverent stagings are necessarily condescending? Maybe they just wanted to have fun with a comedy.

      • Natus

        I think irreverent stagings are fine, in general, especially for comedies. I love productions that don’t give a ****. But they are all the better when the humor comes through from the dramatic situations and the characters, not outside of it. Otherwise, the opera is a mere platform for nutty hijinks that have nothing to do with the libretto or the given circumstances.

        In the current production, the director was simply throwing out whatever he thought would stick, seemingly without a greater concept. Sometimes that can work, sometimes it doesn’t. Comedies depend on timing and sharpness to bring out the humor, and there was little of that here. The director was reduced to making contemporary references to goose the audience response.

        Two reviewers have groaned that Loft Opera included the Tutor’s lament, but I think it was the right decision, as it is a famous aria. But what did the director do with it? He buried the excellent bass-baritone in a laptop. That’s an example of just one of my issues with the production as staged, not as sung.