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The Met prepares a "pasticcio." Thoughts? Comments?

Mr. Christie and Mr. Sams are assembling the score from music of Handel, Vivaldi and Leclair, although the pastiche has not yet taken its final form. The story is mostly a retelling of Shakespeare's "Tempest," with a dose of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" thrown in.

The cast is led by Plácido Domingo, as Neptune, who will make an entrance on a giant seashell, Mr. Gelb said. The characters include Sycorax (Joyce DiDonato), Ariel (Danielle de Niese), Caliban (Luca Pisaroni), Miranda (Lisette Oropesa), Ferdinand (Anthony Roth Costanzo) and Prospero (David Daniels).

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As an early music fan, I think it's a marvelous idea and, knowing that Christie is involved in the project, I'm sure it will be a high quality, classy event.

I would be a bit wary of the direction that this might take, particularly with Sams' involvement, but like bobbi, I think that Christie's involvement gives the

production a good pedigree. I can't see him presiding over some kind of out of control trainwreck. (But if he pulls out as the production nears the premiere, as Peter Stein recently did in the Met's upcomming Boris, whoa!!!!!!!)

And as the Wakin points out in the NYTimes, the precedent for doing this kind of confection has a historical context.

So this could be a creative project, time will tell.

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On BBC's radio 3, I listened to most of "The Enchanted Island" broadcast live from the Metropolitan Opera.

I missed some of the first half and from reports, what I did miss was not too much to be bothered about.

It was for me an entertainment in the old fashioned sense of the word and I am glad I stayed with it for the second half as I found the performance truly uplifting with singers and orchestra both charming and thrilling.

"The Telegraph" critic Rupert Christiansen watched a live screening of the performance.


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Thank you for telling us your impressions, leonid. A quote from the review:

Worst of all, the pace was leaden and the structure shapeless, proceeding as little more than a string of arias, sung according to the rules of Buggins’s Turn: the element of baroque opera that I most dislike. If I could have left at half time, I would have: several of the audience did.

But, almost miraculously, the second half livened up considerably. The scenery became gorgeous, the unravelling of the plot entertaining. There was a masque with dancing; there were lovely duets and magnificent choruses between the arias.

Has anyone else seen/heard it?

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I've heard it several times on Sirius, and have enjoyed it very much, but I was also able to move around, nosh, and be online at the same time, which is a much different experience. I was particularly taken by Joyce di Donato and Luca Pisaroni.

I missed it this weekend, but I'm hoping Scotiabank Theatre in Vancouver will screen the second (Monday night) Canadian encore. (The second encore for "Don Giovanni" was packed.)

The main criticism that I heard about it was that for the length, too much of the music sounded similar. A close friend told me that they weren't sure how to play it at first, but realized the audience loved the humor, and they emphasized this as the production went on.

I often find that the camera work, especially close-ups, make the HDs more visually interesting than watching productions from the middle of the house and up. (I dislike using opera glasses.) It's easier to see detail, and some of the most criticized sets in Met productions, particularly the emphatically vertical ones, which look dark and ponderous in the house, look a lot better close up, Also, the lighting is more vivid in the HDs.

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I saw/heard the HD broadcast last Saturday. I'm no expert (and I may be glad of that since "expert-ness" seems too often to produce cynicism in many), but to my experienced-enough and appreciative eyes/ears, I found this production to be....in a word....brilliant. I admit that baroque has a special place in my heart (and always has), so for me the music was divine. Beyond that, the singing and acting was on as high a rung as anyone could possibly want. The spectacle was perhaps the best of all: the costumes, the 18th century sets combined with modern video and lighting, the colors, the fantasy-for-grown-ups quality was a treat and a revelation.

I suspect that some might complain about the plot and characters that smash together Shakespeare's "The Tempest' and "Midsummer's Night Dream", but I cared about these characters, and found myself in tears more than once during this nearly 4 hours of beauty (Pisaroni's Caliban touched me deeply in the scene where he discovers that (paraphrased) "a heart that loves, will be broken".

And perhaps what I enjoyed most of all was the humor. Modern, tongue-in-cheek humor, poking fun at our "elite" tastes, and our 21th century concerns. My favorite moment in the entire production was a humorous one when Lysander and Miranda, two characters from two different Shakespearean plays, meet for the first time (an historical first, I imagine wink.png), and sing a duet where they delight in the discovery that their names rhyme!

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One of my best nights at the opera was seeing William Christie's company Les Arts Florissants do Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie. I love baroque opera. However, the clips I saw of Enchanted Island and the fact that it is a very contrived pastiche that is no longer a common thing to do in opera in this point in time.....well.....I was worried it would be really contrived and hokey and silly. All that combined with this past Saturday being a beautiful, sunny day in Florida I did not want to spend all day watching "Enchanted Island" but maybe I will go see the encore presentation at night later in February. I am happy to read some of the comments above.

Another factor was that I knew I was driving to Tampa the next day to catch "Stars of Today Meet Stars of Tomorrow".....highlights included Joseph Phillips from ABT doing the Bronze/Golden Idol Dance, Jeanette Delgado and Daniel Ulbricht in Tarantella, Lia and Jeffrey Cirio in the Pas de Trois (danced as the Pas de Deux) from Le Corsaire. There were others too and the first half was incredible young kids doing variations.

Anyway, knowing I had to drive to another town the next day to catch something I knew I would enjoy kept me from wanting to spend an entire day in the movie theatre watching Enchanted Island. But I hope it was good. On paper it has all the ingredients of a fun show. But not sure what the final outcome was.

Btw, during Tarantella I did not know who to watch more: Delgado or Ulbricht. Both are such amazing dancers. The second I was watching one I was missing something the other was doing. This is the second time I have seen Ulbricht in Tarantella. His drive, attack, force, energy, etc. is amazing. Normally, Jeannette Delgado can steal a show with her delicate, yet athletic dancing and big smile, but she couldn't steal it from Ulbricht, and I don't think she was trying to.....she was wonderful all the same. I will run, not walk, to see either Ulbricht or Delgado in almost anything!

A little 13 year old Aran Bell from Italy was one of the young competition winners that just blew the audience away. He commands the stage at 13!

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