Cher Public

A distinct odor

“’I’ve almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn’t a Christian,’ muses merry murderess Abby Brewster early in the first act of Arsenic and Old Lace, and to tell the truth I’m beginning to think I’m almost as far behind the curve as she was. Recent new productions at the Met suggest strongly that Peter Gelb either doesn’t quite know what he’s doing or else, if he does know, has some wildly inappropriate ideas about what music drama is supposed to be.” Our own JJ (not pictured) muses on “Peter’s Principles” at Musical America.

I glam what I am

“Since Zeffirelli took his official leave from the Met in 2008, the company has experienced—some would say suffered—a backlash against glamour, or at least against those qualities that, thanks in part to Zeffirelli, are wrongly perceived as the synonyms of glamour: triviality and meretriciousness.” [Rough and Regie] (Photo: Ken Howard)

He’s still here!

La Cieca is delighted to announce that after a long absence Our Own JJ (not pictured) has returned to the pages of Musical America with another entry in his “Rough and Regie” blog— this time comparing Atys with Follies.

The gospel truth

“The critical reaction to the Robert Lepage’s new production of Die Walküre at the Met leaves this contrarian reviewer in something of a quandary. Not only was pretty much everybody underwhelmed, but there was a consensus about what (they thought) was wrong: the clunkiness of The Machine, the lack of poetry in the latter part of the first act, the clumsy path to the final tableau.  No one doesn’t want to just heap on the contempt, but at the same time it’s not easy to build a case for Lepage’s invention thus far in the Ring.”

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Look after Lulu

“It’s fortunate that Lulu at Den Norske Opera was the last stop on the ‘Regietournee,’ because honestly anything after that would have amounted to an anticlimax. If there is a more brilliant director working in opera today than Stefan Herheim, well, maybe I shouldn’t see any of his work, because it might be too much for the human brain to absorb.” [Rough and Regie]

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Parole parole parole

Our Own JJ (not pictured) gets the Staatsoper Stuttgart experience off his chest, to the tune of about 4,000 words, in his new blog post at Musical America. Included is a massive and (one hopes) final deconstruction of the Calixto Bieito Parsifal.

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First installment

Our own JJ (not pictured) has finally begun to unburden himself on the subject of the recent, much-discussed “Regietournee.” For reviews of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Rusalka and Cosi fan tutte in Berlin, please go to Musical America‘s Rough and Regie. (Photo: Monkia Rittershaus)

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Sister act

Our Own JJ salutes three sister bloggers (of whom only one is female) in his current Rough and Regie column at Musical America.

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