Cher Public

Lethal injection

If British Opera magazine is to be believed (and that’s a huge if) incoming Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin has already scheduled the first artistic fiasco of his new incumbency: a production of that glob of manipulative dreck Dead Man Walking is apparently on the schedule for the 2020 season.


    Oh, zing! Not a fan of Mr. Heggie I surmise?

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    I wonder if NZ is just wearing a retainer or if he really has a septum piercing.

  • Ken Howard

    One of the most powerful operatic evenings I ever experienced was of NYCO’s DEAD MAN WALKING with Joyce DiDonato. This is one of the few American operas that has had some staying power and is being performed all over -- another is Heggie’s MOBY DICK. I would rather watch and enjoy a Heggie opera than the Thomas Ades crap this has been seen (and next season will be seen) at the Met.

    • La Cieca

      I’m sorry, but all your taste is in your mouth. DEAD MAN is a piece of crap.

      • Ken Howard


      • John S-C

        DMW has a fine libretto, which is why it’s had over 50 productions. Heggie’s score is either tonal, or a mish-mash of modernist techniques from a century ago -- superimposed triads, octatonic scale -- the stuff Ravel and Bartok were doing (more effectively) long ago. Heggie basically does no harm.

    • Rosina Leckermaul

      I assume that Ken Howard is right on target Joyce DiD must want to sing it at the Met. She was terrific in it at NYCO.
      I’m not a great fan of Heggie’s work. His music isn’t even on the level of someone like Menotti. Moby-Dick keeps reminding one of how good Britten’s Billy Budd is, and Great Scott is unspeakably bad--a waste of the great singers involved in its premiere.

      • berkeleygirl

        Great point… Heggie’s music may not be terribly sophisticated, but singers adore both him and his music. That can go a long way.

  • Liz.S

    I chat enough about his music insight (or lack of, really) with Mrs John Claggart just a coupld of days ago, so I won’t repeat. I just… wish him best of luck.

    This piece’s story may have an dramatic appeal to general public but it’s like an dated movie soundtrack -- for me hard to find anything interesting, inspirational, or unique about it musically.

    On the other hand there’s nothing crap about Adès’ works. Chacun à son goût, right? I should refrain from talking about it too much

    • Powder Her Face seemed fine to me.

    • Ken Howard

      Agreed -- chacun à son goût. What speaks or resonates with one might not with another. Our individual perspectives and life experiences inform our tastes, but sometimes over time, our tastes may (may) change. This is where I find myself at this point -- it is neither right nor wrong, it just is.
      It is possible that Adès will have to grow on me (like kudzu over time) if it meant to do so. THE TEMPEST was a difficult go for me. POWDER HER FACE I may need to give another chance. THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL from what little I have seen will be equally as challenging for me, and I will take a deep breath and forge ahead.

  • Henry

    If you aren’t moved by deadman walking, then there is something wrong with you. It is a great piece of modern opera.

    • La Cieca

      Let’s just say it’s a great IDEA for a modern opera. Get together a non-hack librettist and a composer whose knee-jerk reaction to seeing a nun isn’t The Sound of Music and you might have something there.

      What Dead Man has going for it is splendid intentions.

      • Dan Patterson

        I saw DMW once, in Houston, a few years back. It was well-cast and well-sung, but I was moved only a little, and mainly just relieved when it was over. I have no desire to see it or hear it again, however. To each his own, I guess.

      • Henry

        I disagree. Strongly. I don’t think incorporating American folk genres etc makes Deadman cliche or in anyway like the sound of music. And the libretto is quite good.

    • PCally

      One only has to watch the movie to see everything that is wrong with the opera.

      • Henry

        And what, pray tell, does that mean?

        • PCally

          Cieca summed it up nicely I think:

          “Get together a non-hack librettist and a composer whose knee-jerk reaction to seeing a nun isn’t The Sound of Music and you might have something there.”

          The opera romanticizes both of the leads in ways which totally negates their contradictions and complexities and somehow manages to simplify totally the complex debates surrounding the death penalty.

          • Henry

            Were you not capable of coming up with your own thoughts? And Cieca’s comments are bullshit.

            Also, what opera doesn’t romanticize it’s characters? It’s opera for gods sake! And DMW displays the two main characters human similarities, which is the point of the opera. The humanist similarities in us all.