All this talk of The Great American Opera makes me wonder: does anyone ever
try to define what is "The Great Italian Opera" or "The Great French Opera?"
"The Great German Opera" is of course DIE MEISTERSINGER, we all know that.
Or is it DER FREISCHUETZ?
But anyway, why does there have to be *The* Great American Opera? Why can't
there just be some that are great and some that aren't?
And what makes an opera "American" anyway? Virgil Thomson once said
(paraphrasing here) that to write American music you just have to be an
American and then write whatever kind of music you like.
If it's American subject matter that counts, the best American opera must be
MOTHER OF US ALL, with PORGY AND BESS close behind.
Oh, and FIDELIO tonight was musically very very strong, especially Mattila
and Pape, with Levine's conducting exquisite if, frankly, cold for my taste.
The Flimm production features a strong first act and a total mess for the
second -- what little we could see of it in between all the halogen lights
glaring in our eyes. And, yes, they are in the process of hanging Pizzaro
in the final measures. Ecch.
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