“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]
“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]
“The celebrated ‘Triumph’ scene… borders on homoerotic porn with its masses of buff extras in skimpy uniforms. (The Met then immediately loses the gay audience when the spoils of war are revealed to be no more impressive than the merchandise of a Kirstie Alley-era Pier 1.)” [Observer]
“He towered over the listless supporting cast like Daniel Day-Lewis guest-starring in a marionette show.”
“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?
An aging eccentric—who has for decades occupied a dubious place on the fringes of New York’s musical life—today saw a lifelong dream fulfilled.
Anna Netrebko and Latonia Moore (pictured) rekindle “The Grand Opera Buzz.”
“Friday night’s triumph may well leave the Met’s management wondering how it let such a gem slip through its fingers.”
“Mr. Eyre’s production… was just another in a series of ugly, gargantuan stagings signaling the Met’s endemic lack of imagination or artistic ambition.”