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Subject: Re: William Tell in the house
From: Bob Hadfield <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Hadfield <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 29 Oct 2016 16:23:13 -0400

text/plain (47 lines)

I attended the performance at the opera house on October 21st.  My thoughts
on the Audi production were mostly, but not completely, negative.  My
biggest concern was that the whole thing was just too monochromatic and the
action devised for the characters was basically just running or walking back
and forth to little dramatic purpose. The lack of color and purposeful
movement, plus, lets face it, just some long stretches of uninspired choral
music, made for some tedium particularly in Act I.  The "gathering of the
cantons" in Act II another case in point.  I kept wondering what the
original Paris stage directions must have been.   i suspect, given the
libretto and the grand opera style, probably not much different than what we
saw here. 

The upside down farm animals, I thought, called to mind the reflections of
those animals in the calm waters of the Vierwaldstaettersee.  The lake plays
a large role in the opera and in Swiss history and, thus,  in this
production.  I had no trouble with the appearance of Jemmy, though I can
understand that some might prefer a more boyish look.

  All that being said I enjoyed the performance overall.  Things picked up
dramatically for me from the second act on and the scenes with the Austrians
were pretty effective. Again, given the libretto, I think the dances in the
Act III ballet, made as much sense as any have over the years. The business
with shooting the apple off Jemmy's head, preceded by Gerald Finley's lovely
"Sois Immobile" was downright moving.  For me it was one of the high points
of the evening.  

The concerted finale of William Tell is, for me, one of opera's biggest
thrills. it was beautifully done here and did not disappoint.  

I thought the singing overall was excellent, especially Finley, John Relyea,
and Marina Rebeka.  I was a little disappointed with Bryan Hymel.  His
voice, to my ears, was not beautiful at this performance and he seemed to be
straining and uncomfortable in the role's more stratospheric moments.  Just
my two or three cents.  Thanks for letting me ramble on.

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