Posts Tagged ‘franco zeffirelli’


Sunday, September 30th, 2012

By James Jorden Of hundreds of juicy anecdotes in Ken Mandelbaum’s indispensable volume Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Flops, one stands out perhaps a little more than the others. It’s about a show called Reuben Reuben which closed out of town in 1955. This was a through-composed absurdist piece by Mark Blitzstein, and […]

Read the rest of this article »

The Unglamorous Life

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

By James Jorden The Metropolitan Opera debut of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, an amazing 180 years into the work’s history, won mostly respectful reviews last week—in between snipes at Anna Netrebko’s momentary breaking of character during the “Tower Scene.” A common thread in both published and popular opinion, though, was that the piece itself was not […]

Read the rest of this article »

Nixon in Amber

Friday, February 4th, 2011

By James Jorden It’s not hard to guess why Peter Gelb would choose to import a recreation of the original production of Nixon in China instead of devising a new staging from scratch. It would hardly be prudent to blow a million dollars on a six-performance run of a work unlikely to be revived any […]

Read the rest of this article »

Myth, Matched

Friday, January 7th, 2011

By James Jorden New Year’s Eve may have marked a significant turning point for the Gelb administration at the Metropolitan Opera. The replacement of the “beloved” Franco Zeffirelli Traviata extravaganza with a lean, mean non-literal staging has garnered rapturous reviews and strongly positive audience reactions. The single reported boo for director Willy Decker’s production team […]

Read the rest of this article »

The tears of a queen

Friday, December 17th, 2010

By James Jorden What makes a dedicated opera queen (well, anyway this dedicated opera queen) sad? Well, it goes like this: the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera hosts a panel discussion to introduce the company’s upcoming new production of La traviata, the first non-Franco Zeffirelli take on Verdi’s tragedy to be seen there in […]

Read the rest of this article »

Untrue West

Friday, December 10th, 2010

By James Jorden Of course it’s insanity in the current financial climate to suggest that the Met should have done a new production of La fanciulla del West this year, even though it’s a very special case: the centennial of the work’s world premiere, which was also the Met’s first world premiere. In fact, to […]

Read the rest of this article »

Beyond the Bathrobe

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

By James Jorden It’s the laziest of journalistic tropes to lead off with “this guy I know says…” but in this case the guy in question has provided me with what I consider a really handy peg for a first column on opera stage direction. Anyway, this guy—who’s in his 70s now, a retired opera […]

Read the rest of this article »

Classical music and media in China 4

Monday, August 11th, 2008

by Ken Smith After my review in the Financial Times asked what exactly was new in the “global premiere” of “the Chinese version” of Tan Dun’s opera Tea at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, I got an email from someone insisting that, based on the photo that ran in the print edition of […]

Read the rest of this article »