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Live from the MET: "Eugene Onegin"

16 posts in this topic

It was stunning. It's really too bad that Lenski is such a self-regarding, melodramatic dope.

I loved the symbolism of the uprooted birch tree.

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It was stunning. It's really too bad that Lenski is such a self-regarding, melodramatic dope.

He is melodramatic, Helene...but I fall for him everytime...it doesn't fail.

Beczala was the star of this transmission...

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I thought it was one of the most balanced casts of anything I've ever heard at the Met, vocally and dramatically. They've got another cast coming up from 23 November-12 December, with Marina Poplavskaya (the Elisabetta in the HD "Don Carlo") as Tatyana, Elena Maximova in her Met debut as Olga, Rolando Villazon as Lenski, Peter Mattei as Onegin, and Stefan Kocan (Sparafucile in last season's Vegas "Rigoletto") as Prince Gremin. Sadly this cast is not on the free Live Stream schedule:

http://www.metoperafamily.org/stream/schedule.aspx

A taped performance of the HD cast will be broadcast on Metropolitan Opera Radio on Saturday, 18 January. "Die Fledermaus" is playing two Saturday matinees in a row, and the live radio broadcast is scheduled for the week before on 11 January. The second cast will be broadcast on SiriusXM on Monday, 2 December.

I thought the Brandstrup choreography in the first act was useless: a young peasant women tossed around by a group of men in the Larin house with the Russian Orthodox Church present? (Or am I totally mistaken about late 19th-century mores?)

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I thought the Brandstrup choreography in the first act was useless: a young peasant women tossed around by a group of men in the Larin house with the Russian Orthodox Church present?

I found that really discomfiting. Was she enjoying it and playing along, or was she feeling frightened and being abused? I couldn't see her face well enough to tell how she was acting it.

"Kuda, Kuda" was the highlight for me as well. I wasn't crazy about the sets, or about how they were realistic in the first act, but not by time of the duel.

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I thought the Brandstrup choreography in the first act was useless: a young peasant women tossed around by a group of men in the Larin house with the Russian Orthodox Church present?

I found that really discomfiting. Was she enjoying it and playing along, or was she feeling frightened and being abused? I couldn't see her face well enough to tell how she was acting it.

I found that disconcerting as well, especially when the men threw grain in her face. I thought, "why are these men harassing this girl?"

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I actually attended this and loved Netrebko and Beczala. Kwiecien is handsome as hell but not in their league. Tanovitski ruined Gremin's aria. Shocking they couldn't find a good bass at the Met for that small role. Triquet was just as bad. Overall, the leads were good. This production seemed to keep the backstage workers very busy. Much ado about nothing. Weak production, in my opinion.

A friend played a tape of Radvanovsky's recent Norma and the entire cast was shockingly bad! This is why I stay away from opera most of the time. I can't take hearing my beloved Norma sung horribly. It is bel canto. It is supposed to be beautiful singing! Not screeching and smudged coloratura!

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I thought the Brandstrup choreography in the first act was useless: a young peasant women tossed around by a group of men in the Larin house with the Russian Orthodox Church present?

I found that really discomfiting. Was she enjoying it and playing along, or was she feeling frightened and being abused? I couldn't see her face well enough to tell how she was acting it.

I found that disconcerting as well, especially when the men threw grain in her face. I thought, "why are these men harassing this girl?"

I agree. I thought, "WTF?" I would not rehire this director.

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Was she enjoying it and playing along, or was she feeling frightened and being abused? I couldn't see her face well enough to tell how she was acting it.

I don't think she was acting it at all.

In the scene, the peasants are singing a folk song about young lovers. The choreography made little sense, even as a metaphor. I think they should have scrapped it.

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I thought the Brandstrup choreography in the first act was useless: a young peasant women tossed around by a group of men in the Larin house with the Russian Orthodox Church present?

I found that really discomfiting. Was she enjoying it and playing along, or was she feeling frightened and being abused? I couldn't see her face well enough to tell how she was acting it.

I found that disconcerting as well, especially when the men threw grain in her face. I thought, "why are these men harassing this girl?"

I agree. I thought, "WTF?" I would not rehire this director.

How would abuse have anything to do with mores?

Your description reminds me of Manon being manhandled.

I have read both "Manon" and "Lady of the Camelias" and seen both ballets, and the opera and movie of "Lady". After reading the books, which were different from the ballets, I am struggling to understand how the protagonists are considered "alter egos." The books are quite different, and the women are quite different from each other.

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I wrote, "a young peasant women tossed around by a group of men in the Larin house with the Russian Orthodox Church present?" I'm questioning whether a dance in any spirit in which a young peasant women -- not a little girl -- was tossed around with her skirts flying over her head would have been something that would have been appropriate in front of the Church representatives or in the house of landed gentry. (The scene is meant to be outside, where the peasants are singing and playing.)

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The only thing I can think of is that the director was trying to say young women are mistreated and manhandled by society and there is nothing more for them to do but smile and play along dance along. But this is another reason why I stopped going to operas I'm so sick of the directors hammering a certain message over our heads treating us like stupid idiots as if we can't figure out that women had few choices back in Tatyana's day!

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Deborah Warner who was supposed to direct had surgery and had to cancel; Fiona Shaw, her frequent collaborator was brought in to direct (or stage, I'm not sure which) and was already committed to another production. Kim Brandstrup was hired to do the choreography, and I'm not sure how much input Shaw had or if it was a battle she was willing to fight if she didn't agree. The dance was such a departure from the carefully directed and coherent production.

I don't think anyone who understands Russian and/or read the titles would wonder about the few choices that women had in Tatyana's day after having listened to Filippyevna describe how she was married off at 13 to a younger man and became a servant in her mother-in-law's house.

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The peasant section in the Larin house was weird too. I think they meant to portray some sort of the "wild Russian peasant spirit" , but the fact that it takes place INSIDE the house makes it silly. Would that had taken place within the natural habitat of the group-(even with the masters as watchers)-it would had looked better.

I think the girl was supposed to be enjoying the tossing.

The red number on Netrebko during the ballroom scene would had looked better sans the train.

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That dance was a big flop, in my opinion, for all the reasons everyone stated above. I agree with Cristian that the dance inside the house made no sense, and I agree that she was supposed to be enjoying it, b/c she was smiling throughout. It was too violent in style to be a situation where it was meant to just be peasants overly excited. There was some sort of message there that I guess the choreographer was trying to convey (I had assumed it was the director's choice but Helene says it couldn't be), and it shocked but more out of how idiotic it looked than anything else.

Despite the sets being fairly traditional (although moved up a little in time) I found the sets sort of ugly and blah. I hope they didn't spend a lot of money on it, because it was not worth it. I never thought I would say this, but I think I actually prefer the previous production which was practically nothing but leaves and chairs. At the time I hated that production, but this one is such a disappointment b/c it is just so boring. Bring back all the leaves!!!!!

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I don't think it's impossible that Shaw didn't approve or even drive the direction of the dance. I don't think it's necessarily the case that she did, given how tight her schedule was and that she subbed in, which is why I don't attribute to her by default.

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