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Live fom the MET: "The Nose"

18 posts in this topic

Leaving the whole special effects and the much talked about conversation subject on the look of this production aside, and focusing on the opera itself...I could not enjoy it. I guess it'll stay in my mind as an operatic curiosity that speaks of a particular composer's form and vision which I guess deserves to be seen at least once for the record...but just that.

Now let me get back to Violetta and Alfredo...

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I prefer the music to "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," but I thought the entire integrated production was terrific.

There was a lot of dancy movement in it, mostly in the animation, but Paulo Szot had his moments, too.

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Yeah...the animations and computerized projections were cool. I guess I could enjoy it if it was one of those contemporary art installations that use all that media and stuff that one bumps into at art shows to look at it with amazed looks for some minutes to then keep moving trying to find the real art. But for two hours I found it exhausting.

I wonder who the dancer on pointe was in the vintage footage...

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My brother told me there was footage of Anna Pavlova, probably that's what you're referring to? I have not seen the production myself. And I do not know where he got that information, but I will ask.

Edit: Apparently William Kentridge said this in an interview my brother saw on Youtube.

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In the pre-performance interview with Peter Gelb, Kentridge discussed this.

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He did indeed, now that I remember. But I hadn't seen such Pavlova's footage before, if mem. serves.

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It's possible actual footage was extended. He didn't say.

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The Nose was fantastic: smart, beautiful, well-sung and impeccably played. This is the kind of artistic integrity--musical and artistic--that we rarely get to experience with ballet, alas.

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I loved it. The sets, projections and music were zany and fun. I'm glad it will be part of the tv broadcast schedule so I can see it again.

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I too loved it.

Candidly, this is difficult music for me; and I went not expecting to like it much. Indeed, I didn't like it much for the first 30 minutes or so, but once I tuned into Shostakovich's quasi-atonal "melodies", and especially his use of rhythm, I started to really like it. By the end, I was a total convert.....literally sitting on the edge of my chair (this was the MetHD showing) in amazement and excitement. I particularly enjoyed the ensemble pieces. The complexity and power of the quartet when Kovalyov and his servant sing about the letter on house right of the stage while Madame Podtochina and her daughter were to house left and above, was mind bending for me. It actually reminded me of some of the famous sextets etc in some bell canto operas (but of course in a completely different tonal landscape).

I even found the story moving. I'm a sucker for all that is absurdist in literature in any case, so it was easy for me to relate to the themes of how silly we humans are about our vanity, social standing, and priorities. I thought Gogol's story captured all this well.

I was blown away by the creativity of William Kentridge. As I'm sure has been said many times elsewhere, his use of video was remarkable. He drove the action with the same non-stop intensity as Shostakovich's music. Basically, I just loved everything about this production......a production I didn't even expect to like wink1.gifbiggrin.png.

Three cheers for the MET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I always do my little two questions test with any musical product I want to test in its likeness-(let's leave the XXI Century marvels of this particular production aside...}

1-Would I buy a CD to have it at home...?

2-Would I play such CD in my car to listen to while driving..?

Many times I've asked the question in the middle of public discussions of this like, and I've noticed hesitation in the answers....specially from those who want to be completely honest about it.

I have my good shares of 1-"no" and 2-"no" from people who liked the live showing. Alas, one of them went to say that for him it was all about the allure of the technical marvels.

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I saw The Nose live in the Big House this past Saturday. I thought it was a novelty that I enjoyed seeing once, but woud not see again because I'm not generally a fan of the music. The thing that made this special for me was the production values. There were a good number of teenagers in the audience - more than I normally see at the opera.

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I saw The Nose live in the Big House this past Saturday. I thought it was a novelty that I enjoyed seeing once, but woud not see again because I'm not generally a fan of the music. The thing that made this special for me was the production values. There were a good number of teenagers in the audience - more than I normally see at the opera.

That makes two of us...

Anybody else...?

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I guess I like the music. One of my favorite operas is Wozzeck! But other favorites are Marriage of Figaro, La Bohème and Der Rosenkavalier. So, lots of different styles in these. I guess if I were to answer, it would be Yes and Yes. I don't go to the ballet expecting Giselle every time. Sometimes I like Agon or Episodes. Sometimes it's Tutus and Tiaras (to quote a friend of mine here) and other times it's practice clothes. Same with all art for me.

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When I bought CDs for "The Nose" about a decade ago, I listened to it a lot, and since then only once or twice a year, especially since I'm a Sirius and medici.tv subscriber, and there's so much to listen to on YouTube and not enough hours in the day.

I'm also a big "Wozzeck" fan, and I'm so disappointed the Met didn't include it in the HD season.

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I heard the Sirius broadcast in 2010, and the broadcast a few weeks ago, and loved both, and bought a ticket for the HD showing, but was invited elsewhere and had to miss it. Gergiev's recording of the opera is on Spotify.

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I haven't seen it yet, but am looking forward to it -- the clips I've seen were fascinating.

But if it isn't to your taste musically, once through for the staging would probably be more than enough.

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1-Would I buy a CD to have it at home...?

2-Would I play such CD in my car to listen to while driving..?

For your questions to be meaningful for me, you would have to substitute the acronym DVD for CD. With that change, my answer would be YES.

Perhaps more interesting is the reason I feel this way. It has nothing to do with the visuals and staging of this particular production (altho I did very much like these elements of this production), but rather it has to do with what I find so moving and powerful in opera as an art form. For me, opera is the magic that happens when the music, words, story, and emotions of the character blend into a series of moments that transport me, inside my own being, with a power that any one of those 4 elements can not do on their own. That's why I say DVD. For opera to be opera for me, I need to feel what the character is feeling. The words tell me intellectually what is occurring (I'm assuming super-titles here); the acting of the singer display visually before me what is occurring in the world of the character; the quality of the singing expresses in the human voice the emotions of the character (indeed that is what I most appreciate in a great singer); and best of all, this all happens in the music (orchestra) at the very same moment. It is that marriage that I love so much.

A CD, altho nice, only conveys a portion of an opera. If I speak the language (so I know the words), then a CD can come close; but few of us, and certainly not me, speak Russian. But even if I know the words, a CD still misses the acting of the singer, and the story itself is limited by lack of sets, costumes, props, and the like.

If I know an opera very well (say, The Ring), then a CD can come close since I pretty much know what the singer is saying because I recognize what is being said from where we are in the music; and I already have visual images in my head of the staging (and often even a singers facial expressions) from previous productions I have seen. But in this case, I had never seen The Nose, nor had I ever heard the music of Shostakovitch that I remember. For me this was all brand new, so a CD just won't cut it. Even a DVD would have its failings. But I would love to see this opera again.....especially live in an actual performing theater......be it this production or another.

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