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Subject: Rosenkavalier 2.0 at the Met / FT review
From: janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 18 Apr 2017 17:39:24 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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https://www.ft.com/content/c6720550-2419-11e7-a34a-538b4cb30025

  
Der Rosenkavalier
Metropolitan Opera, New York
MARTIN BERNHEIMER


	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.

	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.
  
Metopera.org

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