Ed's talk

Monday, May 30, 2016

After much confusion, I was able to watch this opera yesterday (5/29/16) only on the TV with rather inferior picture and sound. (If NET had provided the opportunity to watch it on the computer, both would have been infinitely better but I suppose they'd prefer to do their fund raising.)

 However, the production suffered from the usual problems of the Gelb Met opera. After proudly displaying and later explaining how they did the opening "underwater" intro, they seem to have largely run out of steam.

 Unless they are using an older production such as Zefferelli's, it is impossible to tell the time frame of any production even if this opera was originally set in a mythical Ceylon.

 The tenor Matthew Polenzani especially had his modern tattoos, cigarette and modern beer bottles on display and if he does actually smoke, this is a poor habit for anyone, let alone a singer to get into. The baritone Mariusz KwiecieĊ„, who carries the most dramatic role in the opera, has one of his most important scenes apparently set in a backstage area, complete with filling cabinets etc., and in a modern costume of t-shirt and trousers. Why? 

If I were he, I'd sue!!!

 The singing seemed very satisfactory and Diana Damrau was an excellent Leila even though in appearance she looked more like Diana Dammerung. (But that is ungracious of me to even mention so I won't. ;-) Anyway, she sang well, whether veiled or not.

 I won't go into the absurdities of the plot which is largely based on amazing coincidence all around (including Zurga's necklace and pearl!) and which no production can cure.

 The photo at the top shows the most famous tenor to ever sing the part of Nadir.


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