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Subject: Guth's "Lost in Space" "La Boheme" for Paris
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Sat, 16 Dec 2017 21:27:03 -0500
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Twice this week I turned off the Met for other operatic options.  "Death in Venice" 
substituted for "The Merry Widow" and today, Claus Guth's controversial "Lost in Space" 
"Boheme" from Paris knocked "Norma" out of today's lineup.

From the silent opening, until the silence and black out of the end, I've not been so moved 
by a "Boheme" in years.  Shattered, is a better description of how I felt afterwards.

I understand the opening night audience booed lustily, catcalling the production, but 
apparently subsequent performances have been met with nothing but cheers.  I understand 
why.

Visually, it was 100% a knock out feast for the eyes.  The ingenuity of the cast, well, 
actually Mr. Guth's, to recreate memories of their youth on earth, while hurtling towards 
death in a doomed spaceship had, at times a the "let's put on a show," variety, using 
everything they had (including an already dead former crew member) to relive happier - 
and not so happy - times.  The explanations of the space journal, describing rationing of air, 
water and food aided in the hallucinatory nature of the storytelling.

Musically, it was near perfection, aside from Ms. Cabal dropping off the "C" at the end of the 
first act - which actually worked, leaving Rodolfo alone.  Atalla Ayan was her doomed 
Rodolfo and he is as appealing in this role - and in this concept - as any Rodolfo I can recall 
of recent vintage.  Dudamel belied his youth and relative lack of operatic experience making 
it feel it was Puccini's blood flowing through his veins.

I also could not always understand what I was seeing, but it only added a "newness" to a 
work I know every bar of.  This reminded me of how moved we can be by something 
without knowing or understanding why.

Hours later I'm still shaken by this beautiful performance.

p.

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