Cher Public

Drunk history

Publish or perish? Why not both?

Last night was my fourth or fifth wade into the slough of Bartlett Sher’s production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Met since its premiere in 2009. While the show remains random and confusing, the evening had many memorable compensations, among them Johannes Debus’s stylish conducting, a no-holds-barred hero in Vittorio Grigolo and outstanding portrayals of two of the four women in his chaotic life by Erin Morley and Anita HartigRead more »

Star and garters

 Dans les roles d'amoureux langoureux...

Dans les roles d’amoureux langoureux…

No amount of scholarly diligence has kept Les contes d’Hoffmann from being the messiest of all standard-repertory messes. The opera was unfinished at the time of Offenbach’s death in 1880, and in this case “unfinished” means not a deficit but a surplus of material, some added by other composers, some authentic but not unearthed and sorted out until the late 20th century. Read more »

Crazy in love

I am, perhaps instinctively, skeptical of those who commit suicide. And yet Vittorio Grigolo somehow makes it look so good—even when covered in blood.  Read more »

His cup runneth over

Elisir 1I hadn’t seen the Met’s most recent L’Elisir d’Amore since its premiere three-and-a-half years ago, but I would have sworn Bartlett Sher’s production was pretty traditional. But its revival which opened Thursday night featured an edgy, unorthodox interpretation unlike any I’d ever seen or read about. As portrayed by Vittorio Grigolo, Nemorino was a manic self-absorbed, probably bipolar, stalker whoagainst all odds and good sense—gets the poor girl. One could easily imagine a sequel in which Adina ended up stabbed to death six months after the wedding by her scary new husband.  Read more »

Lede buried

They were there, opera insiders said, because Chelsea Clinton is a friend of the tenor Vittorio Grigolo, who was playing the Chevalier, Manon’s true love.”

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Je sens une pure flamme

Our Own JJ‘s take on the Massenet will not appear until next week, but for now you are invited to make do with Zachary Woolfe‘s rave in the New York Times.

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A wasted time

Vittorio Grigolo in the title role of the Met’s revival of Les Contes d’Hoffman is the opera version of the charming homeless drunk.

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Spring will be a little late this year

La bohème  is such a popular romantic opera that hardly anyone ever notices that Mimì and Rodolfo undergo what in modern terms would be called speed dating.

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