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Subject: Re: Met Broadcasts We Wish We NEVER Had
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:29:15 -0400

text/plain (62 lines)

[log in to unmask] wrote (in part):

"IMHO-only The video broadcast of Jane Eaglen and Ben Heppner Tristan from
from the Met perhaps is an example. (for Ms. Barbara Willis Sweete's video 
direction alone)"

It was Brian Large who directed that Tristan telecast.  Ms. Willis Sweete 
directed the 2008 "Tristan" HD cinecast with Deborah Voigt and Robert 
Dean Smith.  Mr. Smith was the third in a rotating cast of doomed tenors 
singing Tristan that season, flown in from Europe as a last minute 
replacement and making his debut. While Pape sang King Marke 
(gloriously, as noted by Mr. Rideout) in the premiere season for this 
production, Matti Salminen played the cuckolded monarch for this HD.  

Back to Ms. Sweete - while she's grown to be one of my favorites for 
Tristan she was a one woman wrecking crew.  The movie house audience 
even BOOED her!  

Here's a couple of paragraphs from my review for anyone who wants to 
relive that particular horror show.

"I can in all honesty say I have never enjoyed a performance less than this 
afternoon's Tristan.  Barbara Willis Sweete single handedly destroyed the 
experience not just for me, but for nearly everyone I spoke to during the 
intermissions and following the performance.  This new technology of 
having multiple  screens was the most jarring effect I've ever witnessed, 
forcing one to  visually scramble from box to box in postcard sized images 
across the screen.  During the great Act II love duet, the screen showed 
four different angles of the couple in four separate boxes.  Often when 
singers were performing each singer would be in a separate box, an effect I 
overheard someone mention made it seem like they were all in different 
opera houses.  During Tristan's great mad scene in Act III, the largest 
image on screen for almost 10 minutes was Kurwenal's back, while a fuller 
shot reducing the size of Robert Dean Smith's marvelously sung Tristan 
was a smaller image of him for a short while or an enormous close up of 
only his face. 

There was truly ludicrous moments that defied all logic.   At one point in 
Act I, the singers were all in separate boxes (and the boxes were framed 
with stupid white margins) with a lot of black space and as Brangane walks 
stage right towards Isolde . . . the box with DeYoung slowly slid across the 
screen right to left as if to tell us "Brangane is walking towards Isolde," an 
incredibly cheesy effect provoking no end of mumbling from people around 
me: "Oh, shit!"  and "Jesus Christ!"  with a sea of heads shaking in 
disbelief every few minutes."

I still shudder recalling it!


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