LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font


Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives

Subject: Werther at the Met / FT review
From: janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:49:51 -0800

text/plain (63 lines)


Metropolitan Opera, New York

	Massenet’s gently perfumed musicalisation of Goethe’s profound novel
returned to the too vast and seemingly half empty spaces of the mighty Met
on Thursday. The proceedings were well sung, carefully acted and sensitively
conducted, yet marred by a production scheme fairly described as odd.

	The oddity sprang – well, often lumbered – from Richard Eyre’s
let’s-pretend modern staging, first seen here in 2014. Rob Howell, the
designer, advanced the action, also the inaction, a hundred years beyond the
18th century envisioned by the creators. That license per se, though not
particularly enlightening, did no great harm. Its execution, however, proved
troublesome. Eyre, not incidentally, was denied a biography in the otherwise
generous printed programme.

	Among the visual problems, Charlotte, the hapless home-town heroine,
looked shockingly sophisticated in an off-the-shoulder ball gown. Rob
Howell’s quasi-realistic sets relied on a newish cliché: numerous
prosceniums within the proscenium, all assembled with angles askew. Dramatic
distractions included choral byplay in which the resident ladies spent an
eternity improvising a feast table and then wiping, re-wiping and
re-re-wiping the same clean goblets. Wendall K. Harrington’s clever videos
grew all too sparse and all too scarce as time dragged on. The central
scenic prop, also abandoned before the final cadence, involved a little
bridge that led nowhere.

	Although the cast represented a virtual U.N. roster, there wasn’t a
Gallic force in sight or sound.  Vittorio Grigolo of Arezzo, Italy, brought
compelling urgency as well as subtlety to the plaints of the long-suffering
protagonist. Isabel Leonard of New York made the indulgent misery of his
beloved sympathetic, neatly seconded by Anna Christy of Pasadena,
California, as her twittery friend. Maurizio Muraro of Como imbued the
Bailiff with crusty bluster, and David Bizic of Belgrade exuded pleasantness
as the betrayed baritone on duty. The resident children chirped with
eagerness that made their built-in intrusions almost bearable.

	In the well-staffed pit, Edward Gardner of Gloucester, former
music-director of the English National Opera, managed to balance passion
with introspection. In this context that represented a particularly delicate


OPERA-L on Facebook:
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
Modify your settings:

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager