Cher Public

  • DeepSouthSenior: Oops, I can’t get past the out-of-sync video and audio, and the Kim Kardashian bodysuits. 2:53 PM
  • DeepSouthSenior: Thank you, Lohengrin! I misread the original post and was a day behind. Turning to it on YouTube right now. 2:49 PM
  • Lohengrin: For al those who missed it yesterday, save it quickly: https://www.youtub e.com/watch?t=59&a mp;v=89_GWIA1EYY 2:36 PM
  • Lohengrin: Thats true!! 2:23 PM
  • Lohengrin: And I looooove the Tu amore from Boston. They had the same, or even more, chemistry as on stage. Both are “stage... 2:21 PM
  • nachEule: Lohengrin, you point out one of the things I love about opera: productions don’t have to all be the same. My comment above... 2:14 PM
  • nachEule: Thank you Lohengrin. I’d eagerly caught the whole Boston gala on youtube before, and I suspect it’s because of... 2:03 PM
  • DeepSouthSenior: Well, Henry, I’ve been a believing, orthodox (little “o”), evangelical Christian since before I was 12... 1:57 PM

Paris original

Another month, another La Traviata release on video. This performance was culled from the 2014 Glyndebourne Festival and is in many ways the performance of La Traviata that you would get if you took all the major Traviata productions from around the globe and averaged them. The performance doesn’t feature spectacular performances but since none of them are outright bad they round off to “extremely professional and competent.”

Director Tom Cairns’ production and Hildegard Bechtler’s designs follow recent Traviata trends without adding any original touches: vaguely modern-dress, “timeless” non-descript sets, and rather cold person-regie between the opera’s three protagonists. The curtain rises on a modern salon that nonetheless has a chandelier and some other trappings of elegance that would be more true to the demi-mondaine life than the modern high-class escort.   Read more »

All futures great and small

The Metropolitan Opera yesterday afternoon was an uncommonly cozy place, as the auditorium was packed to the rafters with friends and family members of the nine National Council Audition Finalists. For the finalists I’m sure the experience was nerve-wracking but it was heartwarming to see the huge cheering crowds for each finalist.   Read more »

The devil is in the details

Certain operas are better in theory than practice. Boito’s Mefistofele has some undoubtedly fine tunes, and is perhaps neck-and-neck with Boris Godunov as a top bass star vehicle. But as an opera, it only works in fits and starts. For one, the fidelity to Goethe’s Faust gives the libretto a rather episodic, detached feel.

Gounod’s Faust might be a lot cheesier but it’s also more tightly focused and thus better theater. Boito’s opera has some some stunning choral work in the Prologue and Epilogue, a famous tune in Margherita’s lament “La altra notte” and an extremely enjoyable “Walpurgis Nacht” act but also a lot of filler. It’s not a long opera but it feels endless.   Read more »

capuleti_amazon

Star, crossed

The key to enjoying Bellini’s I Capuleti e Montechi is to do a hard factory reset and reformat your brain to forget all other works based on Romeo and Juliet.

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rigoletto_amazon

Table bodied

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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Bluebeard

Door to door

The Met’s planned premiere of Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle was cancelled due to the Great Blizzard That Wasn’t.

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Hoffmann

A wasted time

Vittorio Grigolo in the title role of the Met’s revival of Les Contes d’Hoffman is the opera version of the charming homeless drunk.

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thermos

The year in Ivy

2014 was a year of lemons into lemonade.

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Traviata

Lost and found

Verdi must have gotten tired of tossing and turning by now and has gone back to resting in peace.

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Gheorghiu

Moon and stars

One of the major complaints about the five year casting system (as well as the shared productions by different companies) is that operatic events are rarely surprises anymore.

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