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  • Bill: Gabor Bretz is really a fine singer – have heard him often in Budapest. He is doing some... 9:19 AM
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Dead European white males once again in jeopardy

Our old friend Heather Mac Donald (not pictured) is back, ostensibly to mourn the loss of “Petrarchan intimacy with the past” in the study of the humanities, but, reliably enough, she can’t help taking a swipe at Regietheater while she’s at it. So naturally Our Own JJ is ready with the counterpoint over at Rough and Regie.

Magic Michael

Our Own JJ weighs in at some length about OONY’s performance of I Lombardi over at musicalamerica.com. Yes, it’s by subscription, but you really should, you know? However, for those of you who are a little out-of-pocket (and, believe me, La Cieca knows the feeling) there’s a snippet after the jump. Read more »

Yellow journalism

Our Own JJ‘s nominee for 2012 Newsmaker of the Year: the Met’s Peter Gelb, “not the cuddliest man in the business, [but] neither is he a coward. The Met is a great opera company, and Gelb is now proving himself one of its greatest leaders.” [Musical America]

meryl

May I have the envelope please?

Our Own JJ (not pictured) is delighted and humbled—well, delighted anyway…

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rusalka_musical_america

Geherheimnis

“Since no opera company in the U.S. has quite got up the courage to present a Herheim production, this webcast offers us a chance to sample this director’s unique style of Regie.”

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Teaching moment

“After putting off for a week trying to make some sense of the horrific mess that is the Met’s new Faust, I’m finally just going to give up. There are some disasters that bear writing about as what you might call teaching opportunities: this season’s Don Giovanni, for example, as a cautionary tale about the perils of timid conservatism. But there’s nothing to be learned from this Faust besides, perhaps, ‘never hire Des McAnuff to direct another opera under any circumstances’.” [Musical America]

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Twilight of the Machine

“Now that it has become apparent that Robert Lepage‘s production of the Ring at the Met is a fiasco (too soon? Nah.)… well, anyway, since arguably the production is a dreary, unworkable, overpriced mess whose primary (perhaps only) virtue is that it actually hasn’t killed anyone yet, and since, let’s face it, the Machinecentric show turned out to be so mind-bogglingly expensive (all those Sunday tech rehearsals with stagehands being paid, no doubt, in solid platinum ingots!), something has to be done. In this article, I intend to propose that ‘something’.” Our Own JJ gets prescriptive at Musical America. (Image based on photos by Ken Howard)

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The gospel truth

“The critical reaction to the Robert Lepage’s new production of Die Walküre at the Met leaves this contrarian reviewer in something of a quandary. Not only was pretty much everybody underwhelmed, but there was a consensus about what (they thought) was wrong: the clunkiness of The Machine, the lack of poetry in the latter part of the first act, the clumsy path to the final tableau.  No one doesn’t want to just heap on the contempt, but at the same time it’s not easy to build a case for Lepage’s invention thus far in the Ring.”

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Look after Lulu

“It’s fortunate that Lulu at Den Norske Opera was the last stop on the ‘Regietournee,’ because honestly anything after that would have amounted to an anticlimax. If there is a more brilliant director working in opera today than Stefan Herheim, well, maybe I shouldn’t see any of his work, because it might be too much for the human brain to absorb.” [Rough and Regie]

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Parole parole parole

Our Own JJ (not pictured) gets the Staatsoper Stuttgart experience off his chest, to the tune of about 4,000 words, in his new blog post at Musical America. Included is a massive and (one hopes) final deconstruction of the Calixto Bieito Parsifal.

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