From time to time [general director redacted] seeks to fatten the German repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera, but in spite of such bits of promising nourishment as he picks up here and there, the repertoire seems to remain statically Wagnerian. Young Erich Korngold's "Die tote Stadt" and Max von Schilling's "Mona Lisa" do not appear to have been ecstatically absorbed, and the General Director's latest experiment, [redacted], offered up for the first time on Saturday afternoon, is not likely to do any better.
The new opera-new, however, only to New York, for it has been available any time these twenty years-is a setting by [composer] of a tale by [librettist]. Neither of these names, of course, means anything here, for none of [composer's[ music heretofore got across the Atlantic and the librettist is an unknown. [composer] is a [nationality], to be more specific-and his opera is a [nationality] "Cavalleria Rusticana," minus anything remotely as good as Mascagni's music.[couple of paragraphs redacted in their entirety, as they are total spoilers]
It is easily conceivable that such a tale, or something like it, could be made a gripping affair. One has only to think of Sydney Howard's current peasant drama, "They Knew What They Wanted" with Pauline Lord, or of "Cavalleria Rusticana" itself for that matter, to realize this. But there are a dozen reasons why it isn't. One of them is that the Metropolitan Opera House is the Metropolitan Opera House. Another that [diva], the [leading role] is no Pauline Lord; still another that the German translation is either poor stuff or the original is the same. And, chief of them all, that [composer's] music is a pretilly light comic matter trying to characterize the tragic. This music flows along gently and unobtrusively, with a Wagnerian twist and turn every now and again, but never achieves so much as a profile of the drama.I'll provide a link after the opera in question is guessed.