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Subject: FW: Rosenkavalier at the Met / FT review
From: Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:47:42 +0000

text/plain (46 lines)

-----Original Message-----
From: mb [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:38 AM
To: 'mb' <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Rosenkavalier at the Met / FT review


Der Rosenkavalier
Metropolitan Opera, New York

	Remember +Der Rosenkavalier+, Richard Strauss' lavish and lush evocation of lust and love in the romantic court of Maria Theresa? Forget it.

	The mighty Met has come up with a cool new version that plays loose with traditional time and place, not to mention mood and manners. It drew some lusty boos as well as some brave bravos from a big crowd at Lincoln Center last week.[[eds:Thursday]] 

	Robert Carsen, the director, and Paul Steinberg, the designer, have vaguely forwarded the plot to the Habsburg Empire, ca 1911 - the time of the opera's premiere. Act One, which used to depict the Marschallin's boudoir, now takes place in a garish-scarlet picture-gallery within a picture gallery within yet another identical gallery. It is cold and symmetrical, its massive, misplaced bed notwithstanding. Act Two, set in the nouveau riche Faninal's home, apparently plays out in a munitions factory. Ah, sociopolitical commentary. Act Three, formerly a seedy inn, has become a sleazy bordello, complete with flashy fleshy employees. Ah, modified rapture. 

	The Marschallin serves as a much publicised vehicle for the hopefully magnetic soprano Renée Fleming. She still looks glamourous, acts emphatically prima donna-ish, sings carefully (better soft than loud) and ultimately diminishes the reflective pathos at hand. Günther Groissböck makes Baron Ochs tough, raunchy and dangerously amusing, an impetuous ruffian generously equipped with a deep-deep basso. No fat clown clichés for him. Erin Morley soars sweetly as the chronically sweet Sophie. She is credibly and creditably wooed by the impetuous mock-macho Octavian, beautifully and dutifully performed by Elina Garanca.

	Exceptionally firm support is provided by Martin Brück, making his debut as the fussy Faninal, Helene Schneiderman, also new, as the scheming Annina, and Matthew Polenzani, luxuriously cast as the justifiably egocentric Italian tenor who briefly serenades the Marschallin.

	Sebastian Weigle of the Frankfurt Opera conducts with admirable care for both expressive intimacy and temperamental bravado. He accompanies the singers most diligently, proving that he knows exactly when to lead and when to follow. He also draws symphonic splendor, as is customary, from the great Met orchestra.


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