“Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a problematic opera—or, rather, it is an opera that has, in the last century or so, become problematic. Its composer, Richard Wagner, was a profound artist who insisted in treating on profound themes: Life, Death, Love, Redemption and so forth. In this opera, though, his focus shifted to different universalities: Art and (here comes the troubling part) what you might call ‘German-ness’.” [New York Observer] (Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
“Are we really only two months into the Met season? After acrimonious union negotiations that threatened to shutter the company, music director James Levine’s first opening night in four years, Anna Netrebko’s coruscating Lady Macbeth, the first night of Death of Klinghoffer disrupted by protesters, and, lately, a rash of star cancellation, it seems like it should be April already and we should be preparing to put the season to bed.” Sooner or later, Our Own JJ (not pictured) gets around to discussing the Met’s Barbiere di Siviglia and Juilliard’s Turco in Italia in this week’s New York Observer. (Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
“As Italo Calvino has been widely quoted, ‘A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.’ That’s certainly true of a classic in non-literary form, the musical Show Boat, presented in concert format last week by the New York Philharmonic. Musical theater fans have lived with this show all their lives, and so have a couple of generations before them, but the piece continues to communicate, even in the less than perfect circumstances of this latest revival.” [New York Observer]
“Taken by itself, the St. Matthew Passion felt a little mundane. But compared to Zauberflöte, it could have been the Second Coming.”
“So it’s twice as disappointing that Monday night’s performance of the Mozart masterpiece turned into a four-hour fizzle.”
“I applaud the Klinghoffer protesters for voicing their opinions, but that doesn’t stop me from saying that I find those opinions ill-informed, inept and downright dangerous.”
“Labor! Oh, the problem of labor at the Met is gargantuan,” Our Own JJ (not pictured) would have said, had he thought of it.
Mark Morris’ staging of Acis and Galatea at Lincoln Center is everything good about summer condensed into two hours.
“The dark clouds hovering over Mr. Gelb should not obscure his very real achievements.”