“Il maestro Fabio Luisi dirige correttamente e talora anche con qualche eleganza; ma sta così male sul podio! Ora si abbassa a destra, ora a sinistra, ora salta, ora dà inutili attacchi, ora si butta in basso a urtare il leggio con la fronte. Sembra un topo che stia scappando a un pipistrello.” [Corriere della sera]
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Though the headline seems to apply a whole series of epithets to a revered critic (“Stand-In Meets Sweet Snake, Shrieky Diva, Grumpy Dad: Manuela Hoelterhoff”), the actual review of the Met’s Siegfried on Bloomberg offers more than purely comic interest. While La Hoelterhoff is no better than usual as an opera reviewer, she does briefly at least return to a line of work she does better than just about anyone else: cultural criticism.
The multi-slashed Manuela Hoelterhoff (Bloomberg editrix/spouse to disgruntled New York City Opera intendant manquée Francesca Zambello/grouch emeritus) dipped her goose quill in venom this morning once again to take on her favorite subject, i.e., how NYCO has gone to hell in a handbasket ever since they didn’t hire her girlfriend to run the place.
“Sophie Koch, a mezzo-soprano favoured by the current management over Brits Alice Coote and Sarah Connolly, sang Charlotte very intelligently and musically, without ever suggesting a woman on the brink of losing self-control.” [The Telegraph]
“Near the end of Robert Lepage‘s production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday, there is a moment of arresting visual beauty. The raked stage slowly rises and, with the help of projections, turns into a looming, stark, snow-covered mountain. It’s a breathtaking transformation, one that encapsulates everything that’s wrong with Mr. Lepage’s work.” The first deep reading of the Lepage Ring is by Zachary Woolfe, naturally.
“It’s just that it seems rather perverse to have cast such opulent voices and then given them not much to sing…. the role of Anna Nicole would not stretch Danielle de Niese.” Loyal parterrian Jondrytay (not pictured) looked in on the Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole and shared this thoughts on his blog Not So Wunderbar.