Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Exterminating Angel, Metropolitan Opera

Thomas Adès's new opera, The Exterminating Angel, is now playing at the Met, with an HD broadcast on November 18. The reviews are...interesting. I'm going to list 2016 reviews from its Salzburg premiere and maybe its ROH run, too.
Can't find a James Jorden review, which seems odd. Thanks to MEW for providing the link!


Geo. said...

PCJ isn't the only odd review out here. David Patrick Stearns on the WQXR website didn't care for it at all either:

It'll be interesting to see if Alex Ross gives it another go at the Met.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you for the link! I will add it.

What I found odd about PCJ is the amount of ink spent on wondering why Ades bothered and discussing the source material.

MEW said...

Here's James Jorden:

I'm glad to see a third critic - and an intelligent one - pan this opera. I didn't hate it as much as I hated The Tempest, but I really didn't think it was good.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you! I will add it above.

Geo. said...

As easy as it is to make fun of Tommasini for getting back into his 'yes-man' mode when it comes to the Metropolitan Opera, his 'clickbait-y' header actually grasps a major point. The Exterminating Angel is by far the riskiest venture that the Met is doing this season, a really new opera where the ink is barely dry. Even Zachary Woolfe, who is far from a 'yes-man' with respect to the Met, had praise for it in his dissing of the Met's Puccini-fest of recent days, in the midst of which The Exterminating Angel is sandwiched. Tommasini may be Caspar Milquetoast-ish in his reviews, but one point where he has been consistent has been his advocacy that the big NYC music institutions like the Met Opera and NY Phil need to take more chances on contemporary music.

Maybe is a bad opera. Maybe it's a good opera. I won't know until I see it at the HD-cast for myself. I'll see it, and then I'll judge, the reviews notwithstanding. But at least the Met is taking a chance on new work here, for once.

Lisa Hirsch said...

He didn't write the headline, though of course it was drawn from the review. It is definitely a good thing that the Met has a new opera on the schedule, given their usual shameful neglect of opera after Turandot. And that is true about Tommasini.

Adèx has actually got a decent track record of getting his operas performed, even at the Met. SFO has yet to stage one.