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Subject: Re: The Wilson "Lohengrin" was Met Broadcasts We Wish We NEVER Had
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:01:37 -0400
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Count me among those who thought Wilson's production of "Lohengrin" was sublime (seen 
the second year, when Wilson, at the request of the singers and Volpe, had loosened up on 
the movement and facial expressions).  I wish the Met would revive it; I would love to see it 
again.

I saw Wilson's production of "Parsifal" in Houston, and while I can't say I liked everything 
about it, the production provided some of the most stunning visuals I've ever seen on stage, 
particularly the closing scene.

I would imagine Wilson's production style works best for operas that are predominantly 
rather static, in terms of action.  (It is difficult to imagine a Wilson production of "Tosca" or 
"Le Nozze di Figaro.")  And they are cumulative in their effect over the course of an 
evening.  In his "Parsifal," for example, when Kundry screams in Act II, for the first and only 
time in the production she makes a sudden, violent gesture with her arm.  In the context of 
her immobility up until then, the effect was shocking and spoke volumes about the agony 
Kundry was in.  

I have seen two Wilson productions live and two more (Pelleas et Melisande and Traviata) 
on video.  The Pelleas was effective, the Traviata terrible.  But I have found that, in the right 
operas, if you just go with it and accept, at least temporarily, the aesthetic of Wilson's 
movement vocabulary, a Wilson opera production can provide a unique theatrical 
experience.  No, they are not the way I would like to see any opera staged more than once.  
But Wilson is a genius with light, movement and spatial relationships.  And in none of the 
productions I have seen did he impose some crappy political-social Konzept on the opera.  
He just told the story in his own visual vocabulary. 

BTW, this may seem a bit perverse, but one Puccini opera I can see working well in Wilson's 
style, is "Suor Angelica."  (But not "Fanciulla del West!!") 

MDW

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