Thursday, February 23, 2012


From the Metropolitan Opera season announcement, regarding Thomas Ades's The Tempest:
Robert Lepage’s innovative production recreates the interior of the La Scala opera house as the magical island venue for the otherworldly arts of Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan.
After the wretched mess of the new Ring, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? And, ah, what makes the interior of La Scala an appropriate analog to Prospero's island?

I'm still dissecting (and cringing periodically at) the press releases. You can read along at home:
Can't find the web site of the HD broadcasts, but I have the press release, and it's a tasty season! They're broadcasting Elisir, Otello, The Tempest, Clemenza di Tito, Ballo, Aida, Les Troyens (!), Maria Stuarda, Rigoletto, Parsifal, Francesca da Rimini, and Giulio Cesare


Patrick J. Vaz said...

Hey, because La Scala is in Milan, and Prospero is Duke of Milan: get it, get it?

I guess if you were more favorably inclined towards LePage than I currently am, you could say that an opera house is a symbolic equivalent of a far-away small island, peopled mostly by supernatural creatures and a few exiles. But there's a city/civilization vs wilderness/magic/nature thing that's going on in the Tempest that gets kind of smudged, or obliterated, here.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Having seen 3/4 of his miserably-directed and overpriced Ring, I am not favorably disposed toward Lepage at all. And that is a mighty big stretch to La Scala.

Henry Holland said...

What a boring Met season for me. A grand total of 4 operas written after 1900 and one of them (Francesca di Rimini) could as easily been written in 1890.

No La Boheme for the first time in how many years? They seriously can't be thinking of replacing the Zeffirelli production, can they, unless it's falling apart physically.

The New York Philharmonic announced their season too, it's only a little less boring than the Met's. Seriously, a Brahms symphony/concerto cycle is the big selling point?

Lisa Hirsch said...

I haven't seen the NYPO schedule yet. Wondering why Alan Gilbert is getting more conservative with each passing season. This will be his fourth; argh.

The Met season has a fair amount that would interest me. I was telling Patrick the other day how much I hate Dialogues, but I might be willing to suffer through it again for that cast.

doug said...

Hi Lisa. Here's the HD season link:
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/liveinhd/liveinhd1213.aspx?icamp=HD1213int&iloc=leftnav. Personally, I'm delighted that they've included The Tempest, Parsifal, and Giulio Cesare. I loved Lepage's Rake's Progress, Damnation of Faust and some of his theater stuff. There. I said it.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks! HD page in clickable format.

Was it Lepage or Carsen who did SF Opera's last Rake? I liked it, but Patrick raised some good points about places where the production put the production over the libretto and stage action.

doug said...

Hey Lisa. It was Lepage. I found that production, along with the Iphigenie, among the few interesting things in the whole of Gockley's uninspired tenure. I can live with a little directorial interference sooner than lifeless productions.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Iphigenie was an import, I think from Chicago. (I hated it, unlike everybody else in the world. I thought it would have been appropriate for Strauss's Elektra, but it did not match the tone of Gluck's music at all.)

Lisa Hirsch said...

Henry, five operas after 1900, not that it makes much of a difference: Rondine, Turandot, Francesca, Dialogs, and Tempest.

Joe Barron said...

Sounds like a fun season of broadcasts. Can hardly wait for the complaints to start ... ;)