This past week of contract negotiations at the Metropolitan Opera has been notable for the absence of any new PowerPoint presentations or fustian proclamations. One can only hope that this means that serious negotiations are, in fact, taking place. While we all sit huddled in Dante Park, telephoto lenses trained on the Grand Tier, eagerly awaiting news, we pass the time in speculation. Some thoughts after the jump. Read more »
EDITOR’S NOTE: In response to repeated urging by La Cieca (left), Our Own Dawn Fatale (right) has devised a “to do” list for the benefit of Met management, assuming the company makes it out of this summer alive. The listicle follows the jump. Read more »
For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito should provide a bracing restorative. Here is a production that takes the work very, very seriously. This is La Sonnambula via Shirley Jackson—a ghost story with an overlay of communal guilt and hints of cycles of abuse and abandonment.
The curtain rises on the common room on the ground floor of Lisa’s inn; no rustic mill, but there is a gently flowing stream visible through a rear window. It’s an ominous space lined with locked wardrobes and a heavy scattering of votive candles. Mail overflows the mailboxes and the tables are scattered about as if the previous occupants had fled in a hurry. It’s easy to believe this place is haunted. Read more »
Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.
Short answer: yes. But let’s begin by dismissing the a blatant canard. One thing that the Metropolitan Opera does not need to do is to scale back the number of performances in a season.
The Met’s financial challenges are not meteorological, demographic, or cyclical; they are structural.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera David et Jonathas, written for a celebration at a Jesuit school in 1688, premiered together with a Latin verse drama, Saul, now lost.
Stefan Herheim’s production of Parsifal for Bayreuth is the regie Holy Grail—a production that completely fulfills the promise and purpose of Regietheater.
Hans Neuenfels‘ new staging of Lohengrin for Bayreuth is the grimmest version of this work I’ve seen. Not that this opera is all bright lights and lollipops, but he gave us a particularly dark take on the work, motivated, in part, by Wagner’s writings at the time of the opera’s composition.
Fertilization; birth; growth; decay. Eating; digestion; defecation; fermentation; biogas recovery; food production. Wagner’s Tannhäuser is a meditation on the relentless, repetition of cycles that define our existence and man’s insistence on the possibility salvation despite all the biochemical evidence to the contrary.