“Reading the texts…I found to my fear and horror, words that killed, words that told every time of women’s undoing.” So wrote feminist critic Catherine Clément in her controversial 1979 study Opera: The Undoing of Women. Though the focus of her work was on classic operas like Madama Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor, her thesis, that violent mistreatment of women is central to opera, was confirmed last weekend when Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now presented new works in which women were variously gang-raped, eviscerated and executed by firing squad. [Observer]
“So intensely theatrical—to the point of seeming utterly stylized—were these performances that they might have sprung from a high-concept production of this Shakespeare adaptation in which Gounod’s perfumed melodies depicted a case of histrionic personality disorder a deux.” [Observer]
“We want to figure out how to create a nationwide change in how people think opera can be done.” So say the stepsiblings who are already well on their way to revolutionizing opera in New York. [Observer]
“Just as every downtown shopping street in every major American city now features the same familiar retailers’ names, New York City Opera has no particular artistic identity different from, say, Opera Carolina.”
La Cieca (pictured) asks, what are your eight (or even 10) can’t-miss opera events for the fall?
Anna Netrebko and Latonia Moore (pictured) rekindle “The Grand Opera Buzz.”