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Subject: Re: Rusalka at the Met / FT review
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 5 Feb 2017 20:43:29 -0500

text/plain (84 lines)

The Prince is the "resident lecher"? Really? (Unless Mr. Bernheimer is merely describing 
how Zimmerman has him portrayed in this production, which I have not seen yet. I have 
certainly never considered him a lecher. Ironic, since we've had all this talk about 
Pinkerton lately, lol.)

I also disagree that the Foreign Princess is unrewarding (or has "unrewarding plaints." Isn't 
there an over-the-counter remedy for that, lol?).

On Sun, 5 Feb 2017 16:48:15 -0800, janosG <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>[and Atlanta is ahead *21*-0 !!!!!]
>Financial Times / Arts / Feb. 5m 2017
>Metropolitan Opera, New York
>	Dvoràk’s lovely, poignant, melodic fairy-tale had its premiere in Prague back in 
1901. The mighty Met finally discovered its fragile charms in 1993.
>	At that time the company utilised a much traveled, essentially realistic production 
staged by Otto Schenk. The magnetic protagonist, half woman and half water-sprite, 
served as a grateful vehicle for the fine Slovak diva Gabriela Benacková, eventually 
succeeded by Renée Fleming at her voluptuous best.
>	Still, the challenge survived only 27 performances, the last in 2014.  Audiences 
remained sparse, and such was the case on Thursday when +Rusalka+ returned in a semi-
surreal production directed by Mary Zimmerman and designed by Daniel Ostling. Crucially, 
often cleverly and always intricately, it was  choreographed by Austin McCormick[[cq]].
>	It could be convincingly argued that a new serving of this sardonic slice of late 
romanticism represented needless extravagance. Still, the extravagance turned out to be 
an intriguing, if sometimes slightly perverse, on this occasion.
>	Zimmerman chose to play the action in a surreal box-set, a stage within the stage. 
Baroque in form, it harboured a massive tree. The gnarled wood provided a convenient 
resting, ultimately dying, place for the brave water-sprite who surrenders everything she 
owns to unite with an ultimately callous mortal. While the pretty milieu tended to 
contradict the gushing score, it did make ritualistic sense.
>	Kristine Opolais conveyed the heroine’s essential innocence with properly 
subdued rapture and, a few harsh climaxes notwithstanding, sang radiantly. Eric Owens 
bumbled and grumbled imposingly as her paternal water-gnome. Despite royal robes, this 
monarch almost made one overlook his dwelling in a lake that resembled a sunken bath-
tub.  Jamie Barton gobbled the lusty-nasty-witchy flailings of Ježibaba. Katarina 
Dalayman did what can be done with the unrewarding plaints of the Foreign Princess, and 
Brandon Jovanovich nearly made the resident lecher sympathetic.
>	Mark Elder sustained propulsion and pathos in the pit with much authority, even 
urgency. The great Met orchestra responded accordingly.
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