Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tired mumblings about Floot


See, the thing about Rene Pape is he saved me from getting boringly giddy for the grillionth time because Sarastro is really a dull role for him. I susppose I liked Morris Robinson better because he's got better sub-woofers, more growl on bottom.

My boxmates were iffy on Miklosa but I remain impressed. She's singing QoN every-goddamn-where, which I guess is what happens when you don't ever sound at all like you're going to miss the f's and include every note of the tweedliest passages of O Zittre Nicht. I wonder what she vocalizes up to. Isn't there some singer rule about the interval between the highest note you vocalize to and the highest note you'll sing in public? Anyway it's hard to say what else she'd be this good in. Boxmates noted a lack of oomph below the tweedlerealm.

Anyone else think the Met needs to let Polenzani move on from Mozart? He was in fine voice, because that's apparently the only voice he has, but there were hints of boredom and a punchy quality to the louder notes that sounded like vocal chomping at the bit, to me. And of course he was dressed up like an extra for Memoirs of a Geisha, but that's just the production, which I have publicly noted mixed feelings about. (The best of its images remain home-runs of fairy-tale invention, but you pile it on so thick and it begins to seem like Der Kitschensink, an opera about a land where you need to take aspirin just from looking around.)

I was not inclined to like Pogosov after a thing or two I read about him but it was a losing battle against his charm. He's really very funny and sings just fine in a role that makes my teeth hurt. I'm just sad I didn't get to hear him sing my new lifetime low in opera translations "cuckoo with bliss." It would sound particularly funny with a Russian accent.

Milne, hm. Yeah, fine. Pretty voice. As you can tell, it's a little bit hard to evaluate singers in roles that I find inherently irritating. So, got through "Ach" without any audible or visible fear, tone more appropriate for Mozart than my last Pamina, Dunleavy, and oh, I thought of something a little more interesting to report: she actually uses a little rubato. In Mozart, which can save things from John Eliot Gardnerdom. I'm all for that.

The (I suppose) unintentional scenic nod to Twin Peaks still smacks me in the eye.

Ho hum. Worse ways to spend an evening. Jenufa is next. Jenufa makes everything better.


Ariadne said...

Sarastro is a really dull role, period.

One of these days someone is going to create a Reader's Digest version of Magic Flute which will, finally & thankfully edit out all that Masonic/Da Vinci Code type pomposity and leave us with the delightfully fluffy fairy tale that is The Magic Flute.

A work which, parenthetically, in America at least, which is rapidly becoming the Nutcracker Suite of Opera. Is there a self-respecting company, from tiny to major, that doesn't offer up a Flute production at least once per season? (These days it's most likely to be in English, which just compounds the problem. Now you can truly understand word by blessed word why you're so bored you want to gouge your eyes out with the rolled up program!)

I idolize Mozart, truly, every note the man wrote (and don't mind saying so!) but as an audience member this work makes my head spin. With boredom. (Most of the time I'm thinking, we love these characters, really we do, so stop pronouncementizing and get back to the plot already!)

[As a singer, of course, I would be perfectly happy to do my best in this or any production for God and/or Country. Or $$$. Good thing I would never be asked to Sarastro, though. SNORE!]

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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