Wednesday, April 24, 2013

La Perichole

Last night I saw a New York City Opera performance of Jacques Offenbach's La Perichole at City Center.

While I found the music to be really fun and delightful, I was put off by the production, which included many drawn out gags and pratfalls, long stretches of unsung dialogue that did not move the plot forward, and an unpleasant visual mishmash of costumes and sets. I first found the colors and sets charming, but after a while it became kind of annoying to look at (ongepatschket, as my people say).

All of this took away from what I found to be a wonderful musical performance. I loved Marie Lenormand as Perichole as well as the trio of sopranos.

I had previously seen Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman in rehearsal at the Met, and adored the music. So I think I'm an Offenbach fan. Not a fan of the NYCO artistic director, however.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Die Walkure

I saw Die Walkure at the Met this afternoon. And guess what? I loved it. The music was romantic and stirring and exciting. The plot involved a lot of pride and defiance and over-the-top emotions. The production featured moving planks with projections on them that I found to be very effective. They created an austere and dark atmosphere. The most beautiful was the wintery forest.

I had been intimidated by the prospect of this five hour German opera, but I found it incredibly enjoyable. And in spite of the grim emotional content, I felt uplifted by the experience.

The performer singing Siegmund was replaced by an understudy. Martina Serafin had her Met debut as Sieglinde, and did a beautiful job. Brunhilde was sung by Deborah Voigt. Stephanie Blythe was a stupendous Fricka, and Mark Delavan sang Wotan.