Saturday, December 01, 2007
The danger of a good night out
See now I'm thinking what Wadsworth and his team ought to be doing once they're permanent fixtures at the Met, which surely they will be. And the perverse thing I keep landing on is La Vestale. Cuz here's the thing: Gluck is at best riveting if not religious, and at worst, a little dull. Even in the hands of someone whose musical intelligence is pretty much universally acknowledged (I'm talking about Mark Morris, of course) things can go pretty wrong, and you're stuck in a living, breathing version of what, er, normal people think opera is like, an airless pageant of artifice and pretense. Mr. Wadsworth is the enemy of that kind of aesthetic death, if the current production is fair evidence of his work. So I say sic him on the things that feel lost to the accreted dust of changing taste. No, for once, I don't have a Giulia in mind, nor a Licinia, nor a Cinna, not at all. It's just a formless idea.