Follow by Email

Monday, March 13, 2006

HOW NOT TO STAGE AN OPERA

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO AT THE MET or
WHO THE HELL SPIKED THE AMYL NITRATE!

I try to be as tolerant as the next guy and I realize I'm sitting here in Ohio and nobody is beating down the doors asking me to take over the veil of tears that is opera,but Jeez Louise when Leonora is dressed like Scralett O'Hara's first communion with seventy pounds of shmatte shlepping around when she is suposed to be eloping in secret and its SPAIN for chrissakes and presumably above 80 degrees F and then the tenor Licitra who is a nice young kid with a good voice comes strolling on like he's looking for a place to pee...you know you are in trouble.

The sets were large, brown, ugly and claustrophic.
And dear God, don't run the English titles...Io muioio! Giustio cielio! and all that shit doesn't translate. The audience Saturday afternoon was trying not to giggle and failing. Up in the box with Father Lee I stifled a belch from the prime rib lunch and death by chocolate and thought, why are all these people screaming. I especially loved Don Carlo or whoever the hell it was lurching around and taking his godammed time to die, thank you very much. What was he gonna do? Moon the audience? It would probably have been a better show, not that you would have seen anyone's golden globes because it was dark, dark, dark and dark! No sun in this Spain. It looked more like Manchester, New Hampshire. The ticket they gave me cost $320 that's WITHOUT lunch but you do get a semi private loo at least. And the whole thing was like watching the Marx Brothers. There was nothing moving or magisterial about it at all...singers wandered in and out like waiting for the bus. Nobody looked at any one else. It was Oh fuck WHERE is the next note going to come from. Even Ramey, who still has the vocal presence should let me cherish my memories!

Like I said kids, ain't nobody asking me. FORZA is the bad luck opera. Leonard Warren died in the midst of it. My buddy Albert Innaurato wrote hysterically of a Forza production at La Scala in 1997..look for it in Opera News, LA SCALA TEMPLE OF DOOM 1997...check the archives at the Opera News web site. Close your eyes and listen to Tebaldi and Del Monaco or Price and Beronzi and use the $320 for choclate or zoloft.

No comments: