Posts Tagged ‘new york observer’

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…)

The One-Eyed Man

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

By James Jorden

The New York City Opera’s production of the Bernstein/Wadsworth A Quiet Place won what are called “mixed” reviews. A few critics hosannaed “Thanks be to Great God Lenny for smooching us once more with his plump, moist genius,” but the majority echoed Cecil B. DeMille’s tactful reaction to Norma Desmond’s bizarre comeback screenplay, “There are some good things in it…”  (more…)