“The last place you’d expect to find opera at all, let alone good, exciting opera, is in still-scrappy Bushwick, Brooklyn. But that’s where a new and vital company called LoftOpera has popped up for a two-weekend run of Puccini’s La Bohème in a performance that is as true and moving as any I can remember in 40 years of opera-going.” [New York Observer]
“Even when the opera performed is a masterpiece, a truly superb opera performance is exceedingly rare…. So it’s all the more remarkable that Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor, an uneven, fragmentary work, should yield a performance that ranks with the highest peaks of Peter Gelb’s incumbency at the Met and for that matter would be the jewel of any opera company in any golden age. Opera audiences are resigned to slogging through dreck; this Igor makes the slog worthwhile.” [New York Observer]
“The nameless heroine of Dvorak’s Rusalka is one of those hybrid creatures that crops up so often in myth and fairy tale, half woman and half fish. The Met’s current quickie revival of this opera is also a half-and-half sort of thing: a charming musical performance welded to a dramatic production so old and stale that, like fish left out too long, it’s starting to smell.” [New York Observer]
“…a perfect marriage of text and music, creating a series of tableau-like scenes, as if Paul’s story is being related through a series of exquisitely posed still photographs…”
“…the Met’s brand new production of Die Fledermaus, which premiered on New Year’s Eve, is overproduced, undersung and interminable, less a holiday entertainment than a checklist of opera-making skills the company can’t seem to master.”
How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return?
“Opera isn’t all about the music: On the most basic level, it’s a grotesquely expensive form of entertainment.”