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Subject: Re: Devia in Norma
From: gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 10 Jun 2018 15:14:26 -0500
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I agree with Rudi 100%. The production from La Fenici and was designed by a
very respected African-American artist Kara Walker. The costumes are
laughable. In the first I act I kept wondering who the ugly women in badly
designed red formals were. I didn't remember the women in Venice as being
so ugly and brutish. It is difficult to transfer the action to some
abstract African place. One of the funniest changes is in the character of
Flavio who here is treated as a comical English "centurion" from a Gilbert
and Sullivan operetta. I remember a Norma from Houston with Scotto where
the Druids were truly babarians. I don't think I have ever seen so much
hair on an opera stage.
Gordon


On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 1:57 PM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> something went wrong with my previous posting :
>
> i stopped listening an watching after the Casta diva but I thought she is
> still prettty impressive considering her age. Tenor Pollione looks like a
> Botha but was a decent Pollione and says a lot nowadays. He at least sounds
> better than gregory kunde in the role.
> Here's the link :
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iolJpiHTZ5c
>
> comment by a certain Sotzume :
>
> Who is responsible for this hideous production? The male chorus dressed in
> housewife drag wearing fright wigs? OMG...and the female chorus in
> bedsheets like mummies with cannon breasts? My god, who looked at that and
> said, "Oh yes, that's a wonderful idea.". And let's set this in
> Africa...after all, they're Druids and Romans...which is stated in the text
> of the libretto. But who cares about that. Opera directors are always doing
> this and frankly, I never believe it does anything to "modernize" or to
> make an old opera more "relevant". It normally just looks foolish. How can
> you pay attention to the voices and the music when you're distracted by the
> mishegas of the costumes and setting. Truly one of the most unattractive
> operas I've ever seen. The only one worse I can think of is a Puritani I
> saw years ago in Boston which opened with a stage full of severed bloody
> heads hanging all over the scrim in the back of the stage...ugh. Poor
> Bellini...his operas are just not exciting stage wise...I don't mind a
> little effort to freshen up things but this Norma is a total mess. Devia,
> at 70, does the best she can do I suppose but just because you can still
> hit the notes doesn't mean its pretty to listen to. It was labored and
> tough to get through most of the time. And once again, dressed in a fake
> alligator gown with a headdress that looked more atune to Punch and Judy
> than High Druid Priestess was really too much to bear. Madonna mia....I
> feel badly for her...to have this production as your last memory of your
> performances of Norma.
>
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