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Subject: Re: a recollection of Santa Fe's L'Amour de Loin (reposted from 2002)
From: E R B Forman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:E R B Forman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Dec 2016 16:23:49 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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They have *glorious* sunset colours in Aquitaine.
Edward Forman
UK

On Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:45 PM, Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> My reasons for not going to see the opera are indeed pretty clear, so
> sadly I will miss out on the Met production. Also my busy schedule really
> prohibits it at this time.
>
> But I felt reposting my remarks from 14 years ago might be of interest....
>
>
>
> Last night's second performance of L'Amour de Loin in the USA was much
> more difficult for me. I found the music quite enjoyable for the most part.
> The set (by George Tsypin)with its huge pool of water covering the entire
> stage and two spiral staircases on either side representing the two worlds
> of the two lovers (Aquitaine & Tunisia) was stunning. The spirals had
> embedded lights in them (like giant diamonds) that often sparkled so bright
> they blinded us! The rear of the stage was open for the entire first act so
> you could see the beautiful hills in the rear and the colors of sunset
> (definitely not a quality of Aquitaine, but who cares) and the soft wind
> caused ripples in the pool. A large canoe-shaped boat with neon lights in
> it offered the Pilgrim's mode of transport between the two worlds. At
> times, but especially in the last moments, the magnifcent lighting
> reflecting off the water over the ceiling of the ENTIRE opera house in a
> rippling effect was stupendous!
> The almost mystical music (conducted by Robert Spano) with many bells
> sounded oriental at times, and the chorus repeated the same feeling. They
> were split between men and women on either side of the stage in the areas
> outside of the theater, so that they were around the 5th-10 rows of the
> house and raise up on the sides. The men were left (the side of Jauffre
> Rudel), the women were ride (the side of Clemence). As the opera progressed
> I disliked the hissing "ssss" sounds they made more often. I thought they
> were getting too snake-like.
> The two lovers were excellently sung by Gerald Finlay and Dawn Upshaw,
> their costumes(by Martin Pakledinaz) simple and really unexciting.
> Findley's Rudel seemed to be obsessed and affected right from the start; an
> almost mental case of some sort (note direction by PETER SELLARS). I liked
> this alot as it made me feel for the character. Indeed his agitation often
> made me into a nervous wreck! Upshaw's Clemence was more aloof until the
> final act where she broke loose after Rudel's death on his arrival in
> Tunisia.
> The one word that really seems to characterize the music is "hypnotic,"
> and a 2hours 15 minutes with NO intermissions, it just seemed a bit too
> tedious for me.
> The Pilgrim of Monica Groop gave us am impressive portrayal, although she
> looked like a mercenary instead of a Pilgrim.
> I am glad to have seen this work, but I can't say I would rush to see it
> again, as I would LITTLE WOMEN(which was performed the day prior).
>
>
>
>
> ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC
>
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-- 
Dr E.R.B. Forman
Senior Lecturer in French
School of Modern Languages
University of Bristol
[log in to unmask]

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