Posts Tagged ‘the met’

Then is now

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

With one of my favorite opera productions returning to the Met tonight, I’ve been considering lately what makes Willy Decker’s Traviata so fine, so satisfying, and so worth a return visit.

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Leading lady

Monday, January 7th, 2013

By James Jorden One thing you can’t call David McVicar is inept. His productions always work with precision, every movement landing everyone in the right place at the right time, every “still” moment photo-ready. Reportedly he brings shows in on budget and on time, and there’s never a last-minute scramble to improvise some kind of […]

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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 […]

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Water works

Friday, April 6th, 2012

By James Jorden Most arts-related technology is at least slightly Jekyll-and-Hyde in its implementation, no matter how optimistic the intentions of its creator. For an example of the phenomenon, you need look no farther thafn Robert Lepage‘s Ring, clanking its way back to the stage of the Met this week. Amazing tech, that: all those […]

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Charles Anthony, No Unsung Hero

Monday, February 27th, 2012

by James Conlon On February 15, one of the great men of opera passed away. Charles Anthony will be long remembered for the stunning statistics of his career at the Metropolitan Opera: 2,928 performances of 111 roles in 69 operas in 57 years. He appeared there more than any other artist in the Met’s history. […]

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What went wrong?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

By James Jorden After putting off for a week trying to make some sense of the horrific mess that is the Met’s new Faust, I’m finally just going to give up. There are some disasters that bear writing about as what you might call teaching opportunities: this season’s Don Giovanni, for example, as a cautionary […]

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Ring Recycle

Friday, November 18th, 2011

By James Jorden Now that it has become apparent that Robert Lepage’s production of the Ring at the Met is a fiasco (too soon? Nah.)… well, anyway, since arguably the production is a dreary, unworkable, overpriced mess whose primary (perhaps only) virtue is that it actually hasn’t killed anyone yet, and since, let’s face it, […]

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Peter’s Principles

Friday, November 4th, 2011

by James Jorden “I’ve almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn’t a Christian,” muses merry murderess Abby Brewster early in the first act of Arsenic and Old Lace, and to tell the truth I’m beginning to think I’m almost as far behind the curve as she was. Recent new productions at the […]

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Horse play

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

By James Jorden The critics’ reaction to Robert Lepage’s new production of Die Walküre at the Met leaves this contrarian reviewer in something of a quandary. Not only was pretty much everybody underwhelmed, but there was a consensus about what (they thought) was wrong: the clunkiness of The Machine, the lack of poetry in the […]

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She sees dead people

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

It’s fortunate that Lulu at Den Norske Opera was the last stop on the “Regietournee,” because honestly anything after that would have amounted to an anticlimax. If there is a more brilliant director working in opera today than Stefan Herheim, well, maybe I shouldn’t see any of his work, because it might be too much […]

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