“If the Metropolitan Opera were one of the more advanced European theaters, last Friday night’s new production of Manon Lescaut might actually have made some kind of perverse sense. . . . 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.” [New York Observer]
New York City Opera Renaissance’s Tosca “was opera at its most retrograde, an effort to recreate a golden age from a handful of tinsel.” [New York Observer]
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
Fellow parterrians, my review in the Observer of this year’s PROTOTYPE festival does not appear until Wednesday.
Our Own JJ confesses he just doted on Heartbreak Express, but “You Us We All was not my cup of twee.”
“Everyone complains about how there is no great singing in opera anymore, but last week’s performances suggest that’s not so. The singing today is mostly fine; it’s everything else that’s the problem.”
“This throwback to the golden age of opera—superhuman singing greeted with frenzied ovations—was a function of a perfect storm of excitement.”
Part of what makes opera seem, at least, a camp art form is that fans of the genre have such inconsistent taste.