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Subject: Re: L'Amour de Loin
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 21 Dec 2016 23:34:37 -0500
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Back from the HD encore. So glad I went. When I sat down, I chatted a bit with the woman 
sitting next to me - "I tend to think only the real diehards will be here tonight," I said 
jokingly. She, it turns out, had already seen the production in-house, and was now back to 
see the HD. No twisting HER arm, lol. 

As for me, I'm happy that I was able to do the kind of prep that my opera buff dad taught 
me as a kid - listen to the score, get to know it - get the actual score if it's available (I 
found a copy of the full orchestral score online, dieu merci). Three Sirius broadcasts later, I 
still obvioauly don't know the score as intimately as if it were Mozart or Verdi, lol - but I 
have a sense of the form of the piece - certain musical landmarks to watch out for - and a 
general sense of the musical language, both vocally and orchestrally. 

So tonight I could just sit back and enjoy the beauty and drama in the music (yes, to me it 
has both), and now put the visuals in. 

For this production, Lepage's fetish for a one-concept technically-oriented set was quite 
successful, the kaleidoscopic "sea of light" being much more effective than that damn ugly 
oversized magic outdoor patio that was the set for the Ring. I also tend to think that 
seeing the artists in close-up for much of the time helped things visually, as this is really 
much more an opera about ideas than action - not much actually happens in terms of a 
traditional complex plot, but the expressive faces and specific, subtle uses of movement 
(instead of the usual tendencies toward empty park-and-bark or aimless wandering 
onstage) were able to say a lot. (The bit of aerial ballet in the Act IV dream sequence was 
also quite fun!)

A lot of people seemingly don't think Eric Owens was the best casting choice, though I 
enjoyed him - though by far the 2 women were at their best. I remember how utterly 
disappointed I was by Susanna Phillips in her last Met foray (hopelessly unable to sing 
Rosalinde), but this role not only lets her shine in a way that fits her instrument, but her 
willingness to use her voice as a dramatic instrument (not just pretty singing, but some 
wonderfully appropriate use of other colors) was perfect. And Tamara Mumford brought a 
wonderfully androgynous, mysterious, and sometimes almost sinister quality to the Pilgrim 
that always made her interesting to watch and hear. Though she didn't say this in her 
interview during intermission, I tend to wonder if the Pilgrim knows that he's deliberately, 
purposely up to no good by setting up these two ill-fated lovers. 

The orchestra and chorus are to be praised for their wonderful musicianship as well. Tough 
stuff - it's really a chamber score sound played by a large orchestra, IMO - and the sense 
of transparency in the sound was wonderful. 

I can't possibly imagine dismissing this piece after 10 minutes. (Especially because in 
some ways, I think the final act is the strongest in the piece.) As I said to the woman 
sitting next to me, one just has to want to really listen in and give the music a chance. She 
emphatically agreed. 


On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:59:15 +0000, Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]> 
wrote:

>Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But to express something close to glee about one's 
inability to appreciate music others praise? That seems incomprehensible to me. So 
contrary to my own attitude and experience. For example, it took me 20 years to learn to 
love MEISTERSINGER--I just could not get a handle on a six-hour diatonic Wagnerian 
comic opera about Bavaria. But never in that time did I doubt it was a great piece of 
music, or stop looking for an opportunity to turn the corner. Then one year I had a 
breakthrough. Handel opera still eludes me, though I sometimes enjoy the pyrotechnics, 
but I do not going around saying Mozart or Verdi are better.
>
>Andy Moravcsik
>Princeton, NJ 
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
On Behalf Of Marty Clesceri
>Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2016 18:47
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: L'Amour de Loin
>
>I listened to about 10 minutes of the radio broadcast and turned it off as totally 
uninteresting.  I can't think of one modern opera that I like and this is just another one.  
I've found going to the theater to see the HD broadcasts or one live is a waste of time and 
money.  I'll take the masters'
>compositions any day!!
>
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