“And what, after all, is this ‘love’ everyone keeps singing about and dying for? As R. B. Schlather demonstrated, it’s not about the noisy orgasm but rather the gentle comfort of resting a weary head on the shoulder of a long-time partner.” (Photo: Cory Weaver) [Observer]
“In the forest scene, when, according to the libretto, Adolar is suddenly ambushed by a giant serpent, Mr. Newberry had a gnarled treelike structure slowly lowered onto the stage. Mr. Burden did his best to wrestle with what looked like a disused Dale Chihuly chandelier, but the effect brought to mind Bela Lugosi’s battle with the rubber octopus in Ed Wood’s film Bride of the Monster.” [New York Observer]
In response to a request from Parterre den-mother Camille, I thought I’d offer a few, unsystematic opinions on Sergei Ivanovich Taneev and his Oresteia. An initial discussion of the composer and his work can be found here.
Taneev was quite a high-minded fellow, so it’s not altogether surprising that nothing less than Aeschylus (and the whole of his Oresteia!) would suffice as a libretto for his first and only opera. Despite the antique theme, I think the subject would have resonated profoundly with contemporary Russian culture. Taneev’s Oresteia might be considered a sort of meditation on the themes of regicide and redemption. Read more »