The New York Times sends cub reporter (Get it? Cub reporter! Oh, La Cieca is killing herself with the puns!) Zachary Woolfe to the movie palaces of the heartland to assess the impact of the Met’s HD program.
“If you think that elegant transitions like these are the crucial elements in the Ring — if you view Wagner’s cycle primarily as a series of logistical puzzles waiting to be solved with advanced technology — Ka might convince you, as it apparently did Mr. Gelb, that Mr. Lepage is the man for the job. But if you care more about the cycle’s nuances — its characters and their relationships, its emotions, its philosophical complexities — then the idea of giving the reins to the creator of Ka, which is wholly devoid of all those complexities, is preposterous.” Zachary Woolfe went to Las Vegas and all we got was a thoughtful analysis of why Robert Lepage never was a good fit for the Ring.
“Though Mr. Herheim’s work is rigorous, it is also fun, and this Rusalka is serious but the opposite of dour. It’s a circus: brightly colored and full of dancing and neon lights. The ball scene becomes a full-theater party, with confetti cannons fired from the upper balconies. The production is as scrupulous in its deconstruction of the text as a Wooster Group show, but with the joyous excess of Franco Zeffirelli’s Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot.” Zachary Woolfe reviews Stefan Herheim‘s production of Rusalka at La Monnaie. Read more »
La Cieca is always happy (if a little envious) when another critic expresses exactly how she feels about a musical event (such as Jonas Kaufmann‘s recital last Sunday at the Met) because that means she doesn’t have to blather on and on about it. Instead she can simply reply, “Check out what Zachary Woolfe has to say in the New York Times.”
Of course, we all know a Marilyn Horne anecdote without a four-letter word is about as plausible as a martini without gin, but the tale that kicks off her Q&A with Zachary Woolfe is particularly bracing. You’ll be both shaken and stirred by this interview in the current Capital New York.
So, tell me this, what do Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe and James Jorden (not pictured) have in common? Well, according to John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute Heather MacDonald, these three “trendy” critics constitute “a press corps determined to push Met general manager Peter Gelb into conformity with European opera houses, where narcissistic updatings of opera plots are now de rigueur.” [City Journal]
La Cieca (not pictured) is so gratified that there’s at least one arts journalist out there who’s willing to take on the really tough, gritty issues that so few are willing to touch. The scribe is Zachary Woolfe and the powderkeg topic du jour is Anna Netrebko‘s mid-scene breaking of character at the opening night of Anna Bolena as it relates to analagous instances of metaperformance across historical and cultural boundaries. Gripping stuff!