Over the course of 700 pages, Alex Ross exhaustively—and sometimes exhaustingly—examines an impact that began in the Wagner’s own lifetime and continues unbroken today, with references cropping up in contemporary works as different as The Matrix and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Fueled by a fierce intelligence, deep earnestness, exceptional eloquence, and social media savvy, Joyce DiDonato is a presence and a power, as much when speaking and thinking as when singing. Who better to imagine a program that would suit this (we hope) unique moment?
HERE’s Zoom opera, all decisions will be made by consensus, is not merely an opera written to be performed on a digital platform, but an opera that critiques the platform itself, laying bare all its social and aesthetic limitations.
What we see here from Strasberg is frustratingly literal and drably conventional—it looks to me like he’s channeling a lot of received wisdom about how Chekhov should be staged and bringing almost nothing of his own to the process.