Cher Public

She who gets slapped

All those who have been in a rage since the news broke this week that the Metropolitan Opera has invited Calixto Bieito to stage Verdi’s La Forza del Destino can relax and embrace the Juilliard Opera’s new Le Nozze di Figaro which opened Friday night. Although it definitely had its eccentricities, Stephen Wadsworth’s hectic production included little to offend the unhappy opponents of regietheater. And despite an uneven cast there was still much to enjoy, especially the radiant Susanna of Ying Fang.   Read more »

Walvater knows best

There is a mighty appetite among both old Wagnerians and new ones to see a Ring that follows—if not too slavishly—the scenic requests of the libretto. A company hoping to draw a broad audience, especially to a distant or obscure locale (Seattle is distant but no longer obscure)—can work with this sentiment. A company that can sell out three such Ring cycles at top dollar would have been foolish to neglect that appetite.   Read more »

Bark, not Bayreuth

Is Der Ring des Nibelungen responsible for the transformation of Seattle from a gray, damp, low-rise Boeing company town where half the jokes had punchlines in Norwegian (and were about lutefisk in any case) into today's booming cultural metropolis? I like to think so. The Ring has certainly been central to the process, in three incarnations over almost forty years. Read more »