an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Klinghoffer – some reasons you should see it

The morning after the London premiere, I keep finding bits of Alice Goodman’s pretentious libretto, like sand in my shoes after a beach walk.  Bits like:

- Deep-silted with the motes of carrion, which stand for light

- Dwellers in Paradise look at each other/ as one looks at the planets in the sky (do they? does one?)

- She was newly manumitted

- As if an ant-lion had caused them to give way (what? how?)

I could go on… Maybe it sounds  better in Albanian. Will Self told me he thought the libretto was ‘pretty good’. He’ll need to justify that, somewhere.

However, if you can shut your ears to these stupidities, go see the opera, and for these reasons:

1 It has some pretty cool dancers

2 you can have a good laugh at the designer, who sends them cavorting around with green flags – symbol of the Gaddafi regime.

3 The video backdrop is highly effective and saves lots of money on scenery.

4 The orchestra play sensationall well, conducted by Baldur Broenimann.

5 The score is the most ambitious and versatile that John Adams has ever attempted. There are passages of gentle lyric beauty, others of a near-atonal bleakness. The colours of his orchestration reflect both seascape and time of day. There is scarcely any minimalist repetition. Eyes shut, you will hear a master at work.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. If you don’t know what an ant-lion is, here’s a pretty good resource on desert wildlife: http://bit.ly/Ap3HtO

  2. Ernest Callahan says:

    Also, what’s wrong with “she was newly manumitted”? Are you suggesting Goodman should have used the verb “liberated”?

  3. I hope video backdrops don’t become a trend; it would be like going to the movies. When I go to an opera or the theater, well-designed scenery is part of the stagecraft I look forward to.

  4. I am sincerely hoping Gelb moves forward with this at the Met. I would love to see it. It’s one of those works that seems to provide value as well as controversy.

    Thank you for your thoughts, Norman. I’ve seen such varying opinions it makes it even more intriguing.

  5. “2 you can have a good laugh at the designer, who sends them cavorting around with green flags – symbol of the Gaddafi regime.”

    It may have escaped your notice that green is rather a common and prominent colour in the flags of many Islamic nations. As such it seems a perfectly reasonable non-specific symbol for the designer to use in this context. Only the most literal-minded would object. Oh wait…

an ArtsJournal blog