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Subject: Re: A new, better R&J at the Met
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 7 Jan 2017 15:17:10 -0500
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I too thank goodness that the 2005 R&J is history, but if something
even better than this one from Bartlett Sher were to come along in,
say, 2026,
I'd be equally dismissive of it, while fondly recalling the excellence of this
season's cast.

It is undoubtedly a lost cause, not worth mentioning in so tidy and expert
a review as Mr. Bernheimer's, but I intend to express my continued
displeasure at the. Met's obvious intention to wean audiences away
from
the expectation that a proper curtain enhances the staging of operas
from the nineteenth century.  Nothing that was designed by Mr. Sher
would have
suffered from it's use, so why keep it out of sight?  I would gladly sacrifice
the ascent of the chandeliers if the money thereby saved could be used
to reinstate the gold curtain.

dtmk

On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 12:21 PM, janosG <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> https://www.ft.com/content/78072f3c-d1b0-11e6-b06b-680c49b4b4c0
>
> Financial Times / Arts / January 3, 201
>
> OPERA
>
> Roméo et Juliette
> Metropolitan Opera, New York
> MARTIN BERNHEIMER
>
>         Gounod’s lush, intimate and ultra-Gallic evocation of Shakespeare’s
> ultimate love story may not be as popular as +Faust+, but it has endured 330
> performances at the mighty Met as of New Year’s Eve. When seen in 2008, it
> was staged rather clumsily by Guy Joosten, and Plácido Domingo, himself a
> former Roméo, served as lax conductor. At least the central singers, Piotr
> Beczala and Hei-Kyung Hong, were fine. That production originated back in
> 2005, and now, thank goodness, it is ancient history.
>
>         On Saturday, everything changed. Gianandrea Noseda exerted
> propulsive spirit in the pit, and the protagonists, Vittorio Grigolo and
> Diana Damrau, were poignant. Although he happens to be Italian and she
> German, both savoured and projected the essentially introspective French
> style, even in a house that accommodates 4,000.
>
>         Crucially, Bartlett Sher created a dark yet vivid narrative
> framework in a cramped unit set designed by Michael Yeargan. Previously
> performed in Salzburg and Milan, this staging moves the action, and
> inaction, to a stylised Veronese courtyard in the 18th century, The images
> toy with a brave if sometimes contradictory fusion of old cliché and new
> surrealism. Only one intermission is allowed, and it occurs, rather
> surprisingly, in the middle of Act Three.
>
>         Still, when all is sung, sighed, roared, sobbed and mimed, this
> challenge must rise or fall with the artists portraying the young lovers.
> The star-crossed duo on duty here made the most of their dauntingly busy
> opportunities. Grigolo exuded extraordinary passion, vocally and physically,
> yet never neglected sensitive introspection in the process. Damrau traced
> the heroine’s emotional state exquisitely from girlish giddiness to tragic
> sacrifice, and sang with delicately shaded suavity. The two, moreover,
> demonstrated increasingly rapturous rapport. Elliot Madore did much with
> Mercutio’s Mab narrative, but Mikhail Petrenko remained stiff and oddly
> detached as Frère Laurent.
>
>         Cori Ellison provided fluid title-translations that quoted the
> original Bard neatly, also eloquently and elegantly.
>
>
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