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Subject: Re: No amour from FT review for Saariaho's opera at the Met
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 4 Dec 2016 18:29:47 -0700
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I have to agree.  We saw it in Santa Fe a few years ago and thought it was
as boring as most Glass operas, repetition ad nauseum.  The production
values in both composer's works seem to outshine the musical and dramatic
values by a huge margin. Kind of like Weber with 65 candelabras, a boat, a
lot of fog and one tune in the entire show.  It totally bored us watching
Dawn Upshaw floating around in that body of water.  At any rate,
dramatically, metaphysically, philosophically and in any other pretentious
aspiration it went way over our heads.
dond

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 5:50 PM, janosG <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> http://tinyurl.com/j9fhrks
> [subscribers only]
>
> OPERA
>
> L’'Amour de Loin
> Metropolitan Opera, New York
> MARTIN BERNHEIMER
>
>
> Kaija Saariaho's "L’Amour de Loin," which received what could seem a
> belated premiere at the Met on Thursday, may be the rarest of rare birds: a
> modern opera that is actually popular. Initially ventured at the Salzburg
> Festival in 2000, it arrived in the U.S., thanks to enterprising Santa Fe,
> two years later. By now, the challenge has been met in ten different
> productions on three continents.
>
> Most observers seem to love this "L’Amour”,: with its ongoing
> philosophical meanderings – mostly solos and duets – on the true, mortal,
> mystifying meaning of love. Some have complained, however, that the music
> is
> repetitive and the libretto by Amin Maalouf simplistic. Count this observer
> among the some.
>
> Those who fall under Saariaho’'s spell find the piece poetic and
> profound. Those who don'’t find it precious and pretentious.
>
> For two long hours (plus interval), the hero moans, sputters and
> groans about unattainable joy. The anguished heroine dwells on
> psycho-spiritual metamorphoses. An incidental Pilgrim, in pretty drag,
> functions as a moral referee of sorts. The composer dresses her reveries in
> clangorous Sprechgesang, aborted melodies, and gentle contemporary
> harmonies. Everything, of course, is painfully amplified.
>
> The staging – directed by Robert Lepage, designed by Michael Curry
> and crucially lit by Kevin Adams and Lionel Arnould – places the inaction
> on
> a shimmering-flickering rake made up of a zillion, much publicised LED
> bulbs. These support a floating mechanical contraption conveniently
> equipped
> with stairs. It comes and goes on cue and, most of the time, houses the
> resident soprano. Everything looks slick and snazzy.
>
> Despite theatrical vagaries, musical standards remained lofty.
> Susanna Mälkki, making her house debut, conducted with verve that never
> precluded accuracy. Eric Owens exuded strength and valour as the nobleman
> who loves, from a distance, both unwisely and unwell. Susanna Phillips
> simpered strongly and sweetly as his semi-ethereal idol. Tamara Mumford
> re-explained everything neatly as the overworked Pilgrim.
>
> Incidental intelligence: "L’Amour de Loin" is the second opera by a
> woman to be performed by the Met. The first, Ethel M. Smyth'’s "Der Wald,"
> turned up briefly in 1903.
>
> ###
>
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