Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Far Too Meta For Me

Oh dear. The reviews are coming in for the Met's production of La Sonnambula and it's not good.

During one of the intermissions of the HD broadcast of Lucia, Natalie Dessay, the host, spoke a little bit about the setting of the production of La Sonnambula. Instead of the standard, "this is where it takes place," type of thing, like most operas, the director went all meta on us. Apparently it's now a modern setting of an opera company putting on a production of La Sonnambula. Opera about an opera. The play's the thing... ? Meta-opera. I got this not-quite-sinking feeling about it but more of an, "Oh no, why why why?" and then, "Well at least it's still Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay..."

I've been trying to avoid reading the reviews but I admit I have glanced at them. So far, so bad. So bad that the audience actually booed the director during curtain calls on opening night. So bad that now I'm busy calculating how much this night is going to cost me with ticket, transportation, food and fatigue (for of course I need to be fresh and alert for the following evening).

Call me boring, call me closed-minded... but I like an opera setting or story to be what the composer intended. Now, I'm not opposed to changing the time or location. Magic Flute during World War 1? Go for it. Cosi fan tutti with a bunch of hippies in the 60s? Why not? But don't change it to remove the sense of fantasy, the suspension of belief, that we have when we to go an opera that was originally written as its own story. We all know that we're sitting in an opera house watching performers. Why add that to the story? To prove how clever you are?

And for today's unrelated note, the shoes have not yet arrived. The "free overnight shipping" doesn't apply to clearance items. They should be here Friday so I'll post the fashion potentials for next week over the weekend.


Kaitebon said...

ACK! I'm with you on the setting! If you are too cool to direct an opera why don't you try to get a job directing LOST or something?

(and actually, I don't MIND updating the sets...but I'm always a little tiny bit sad when the girls are not wearing enormous and extremely fancy dresses...)

Susan said...

I don't mind a modern setting, but I'm not into the "opera about putting on an opera" thing. We KNOW you're all opera singers performing an opera. The composer did not write an opera about an opera company putting on an opera! He wrote the opera itself!! Ok, rant over. For now.

Those enormous dresses are no fun when it's time to climb stairs or go to the bathroom... my greatest fear last summer (besides spilling the drinks) ok my 2nd greatest fear last summer was that I'd accidentally dip my dress in. And of course I always had to go the moment I finished putting the damn thing on!!!! But I agree, I love seeing them onstage (on other people!!) too.