“New York is great. Opera is great. They deserve each other. So what can we do to get them together? Who can show us how it’s done? We need to ask the Germans.” [New York Observer]
“Siegfried in schoolboy shorts cooking a sword on a mobile canteen; Mélisande holed up in welfare accommodation, with Pelléas sadistically tying her to the wall by her hair… Carmen trying in vain to be a centre of erotic attention while a near naked chorus copulates on stage; Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail set in a Berlin brothel; Verdi’s masked ball with the assembled cast squatting on toilets so as to void their bowels…” Fans of the “context-free laundry list” school of opera criticism will be happy to know that “the world’s preeminent philosopher in the field of aesthetics,” Roger Scruton, has now shouldered the white man’s burden of rescuing the art form from interpretation. [Future Symphony Institute]
As is happening increasingly in opera productions today (e.g., the Rosenkavalier in Stuttgart), the action of Moses und Aron at the Komische Oper begins some minutes before the music does. In this Barrie Kosky staging, we begin by seeing what appear to be dots and slashes blinking on the black front scrim. Gradually these shapes seem to resolve themselves into characters, words, phrases, and humans being human, we are trying to find a pattern and a message among the randomness. When that message finally presents itself, it’s not at all what you might expect, at least not in connection with this opera. Read more »
Some thoughts about the perishability of opera productions follow.
Mariusz Trelinski will direct Tristan und Isolde for Metropolitan Opera in a production that will premiere there on opening night 2016.
The role debut of a world-class singer is always a time of great anticipation, hopefully to be followed by celebration, if not unbridled jubilation.
“Anna Netrebko (Leonora) is seen during the Il Trovatore photo rehearsal on August 4, 2014 in Salzburg, Austria.”
It’s time to bring out the canard again, this time a whole row of them in fact.
Our old friend Heather Mac Donald (not pictured) is back, ostensibly to mourn the loss of ‘Petrarchan intimacy with the past’ in the study of the humanities, but, reliably enough, she can’t help taking a swipe at Regietheater while she’s at it.
How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return?