Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Applauding the Scenery 2

Anthony Tomamsini reviewed the Met's new Roméo et Juliette in today's Times; he called out some issues with the set and staging that aren't far off what I said about the SFO Fidelio set:

Above the stage hangs an armillary sphere, a complex of orbs and globes used to teach astronomy in Renaissance Italy. Indeed, the production makes explicit the celestial metaphors that gush from the mouths of the impulsive young lovers in both Shakespeare and Gounod. As they sing of their ecstasy, the walls of the set part to reveal milky firmaments and galaxies. Call this production "Roméo and Juliette in the Cosmos." The celestial imagery culminates in the scene in which the secretly married young couple share their one night of wedded bliss. Against a starry expanse, Juliette's bed hovers in the air. As breezes waft through the silken white sheets that hang from its sides, the lovers rustle in each other's arms. The image produced applause and ah's from the audience.

In its Busby Berkeley-esque way, it was quite a sight, though you worried as the singers performed a long, difficult duet confined to a small bed suspended from wires.

The setting sounds a bit like the Seattle Tristan except that I never worried about Heppner and Eaglen taking a tumble during their even longer and more difficult duet (and the audience didn't applaud the scenery). Read the whole review here before it goes into the paid archive (if reviews go into the paid archive!).

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