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Archives for November 2010

Re-Inventing Bernstein; Re-Inventing City Opera

Can re-interpretation improve a symphony or concerto? Can an ingenious staging fundamentally enhance an opera? My friend Alexander Toradze has long made a specialty of Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto. He reads it as a memorial to the composer's soulmate Maximilian Shmitgoff, who had committed suicide. Personally, I doubt that the detailed scenario Lexo extrapolates corresponds comprehensively to what was in Prokofiev's head and heart. It doesn't matter. The result is an interpretation in "Toradze style," more extreme in nuance and tempo than … [Read more...]

Rheingold, Boris, and Artistic Miscalculation at the Met

The current issue of The Times Literary Supplement (UK) includes my review of Das Rheingold and Boris Godunov at the Met, as follows: The two most eagerly awaited Metropolitan Opera productions this fall autumn were Wagner's Das Rheingold directed by Robert Lepage, and Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov directed by Peter Stein, with RenĂ© Pape singing his first New York Boris and Valery Gergiev conducting. Boris worked as a whole, and Das Rheingold did not, but both were disappointments arising from artistic miscalculation. As every local Wagnerite … [Read more...]

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