Cher Public

Dan Johnson

Mostly armorless

lohengrin_amazonI’d never actually seen a production of Lohengrin before I agreed to review a new Decca DVD of Richard Jones‘s staging for the Bayerische Staastoper, starring Jonas Kaufmann, so I hope I’ve got this right:

It’s about this architect named Elsa, who lives in an Orwellian steampunk Germany that has videocamera technology but still dresses like it’s the Third Reich. Her brother has disappeared — “MISSING” posters are everywhere — and Friedrich of Telramund accuses her of killing him.  He is rescued at the last minute from being burnt at the stake when a nameless time-traveler arrives, carrying an animatronic swan. After a comical swordfight, he bests her accuser (by using magic powers making the hilt of his sword catch on fire), and introduces the local population to v-necks, trakkies and trainers. Read more »

Theatrical Ligeti, Dramatically Realized (TL;DR)

New York PhilharmonicLook, this is a very special piece of music for me. You were twenty once, right? You were self-righteous. You had your musical heroes, and your mind was being remolded every fifteen minutes or so by a rapid succession of new experiences that challenged your notions of what music could do.  Read more »