Cher Public

Stone soup

romeo-met“So intensely theatrical—to the point of seeming utterly stylized—were these performances that they might have sprung from a high-concept production of this Shakespeare adaptation in which Gounod’s perfumed melodies depicted a case of histrionic personality disorder a deux.” [Observer]

  • My goodness, JJ, what a great review! From what I’ve heard, dead on and written with professional authority! One old woman’s favorite line: “Gianandrea Noseda’s bombastic conducting was at least congruent with the profligate performances of his two stars, if rather too grand even for grand opera.”

    • And I’m glad JJ posted his review as as separate item rather than including a link in the comments of another thread.

      • Luvtennis


        I agree, especially considering how differently Patrick’s review reads…. I wonder if they are going to DVD these performances? The photos of the production look lovely in a kitschy postcard sort of way, but they obviously don’t tell you much about the in-theatre experience.

        Have there been many “high-concept” or at least more “challenging” productions of this work?

  • aulus agerius

    I have never before heard this dyspeptic spin on the stone soup meme.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I agree with Mrs JC. What a WONDRRFUL review! Sher is an operatic fraud and his designer Yeargan an accomplice.

    • Cameron Kelsall

      I don’t understand Sher’s appeal outside of opera, either. His staging of Light in the Piazza was great, but I find nearly all of his acclaimed musical revival productions vastly overpraised. (Tommasini called his Fiddler revelatory in his R+J review; that’s definitely not the adjective I would choose).

  • Willym

    Can’t comment on the performances in this production but if the director’s concept hasn’t changed since the run at La Scala that production was a theatrical mess. The action began with a simulated rape on a Montague servant girl by Tybalt and apparently that’s what led to the bad blood between families??? Then Juliette’s waltz was almost a repeat of Nellie washing that man right out of her hair but being ogled by a group of chorus boys. The use of a unit set meant that Juliette walked to the tomb covered by a veil that had also served a bed sheet -- giving new meaning to the term “winding sheet”. Though it appears that they’ve replaced the frothy pink birthday cake that previous Juliette’s have been forced to wear (I’m basing this on photos I’ve seen of the Met production.) Never having witnessed a Sher production before at the time I was at a loss to see what all the fuss was about him as the go-to director in New York.

    • OperaGhost7

      Rape is not there anymore

  • JR

    JJ didn’t mince words about Madore. What did the fawning Tommasini call him? Dynamic. Does that mean seen but not heard? (We could really use a Tommasini-Reality translation engine.)

  • simonelvladtepes

    “histronic personality disorder” -- is that a typo? It’s histrionic personality disorder. And, while we’re borrowing from psychiatric diagnoses, sorry to be so nitpicking, the only one that comes “à deux” (not a deux) is Folie à deux; “histrionic personality disorder à deux” as a metaphor doesn’t mean anything (other than maybe two high strung individuals).

    • La Cieca

      Yes, it is a typo, and no, it was not meant as a serious diagnosis. Is there a DSM–5 entry that includes an utter lack of understanding of irony?

  • simonelvladtepes