Posts Tagged ‘joseph volpe’

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 very interesting, at least absent a Maria Callas or Edita Gruberova to kick a little life into it. It’s hard to argue with taste, but possible, I think, to propose that the perceived longueurs of the opera are not integral to the work but rather a function of the way it was presented. (more…)

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 replace a production of a Puccini opera after only 19 performances would seem foolish even in an era of unbounded prosperity just about anywhere except the Paris Opéra, where the rule is that when a new intendant takes office he is supposed to junk everything this predecessor did, especially the successful stagings.   (more…)

Night of the Living Dead

Friday, November 19th, 2010

By James Jorden

Revival. Strange word, and creepy, when you think about it. Something used to be alive, then it wasn’t and now (presumably) it is, again. But it’s that last step, the actual reviving that seems so often to elude the revival of an opera production.  (more…)