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Neumeier's Anna Karenina

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What is the role of the Chair in Eugene Onegin? Other than the mirror or note scene?

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It was a chorus of chairs, and they got toppled and we're dissheveled more and more as the opera went on.

It was set indoors and took place mostly in the dining room, if I'm remembering the DVD correctly.

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15 hours ago, MadameP said:

Agree from what I saw on video -  Neumeier AK is horrible.    

Do not jump to hasty conclusions. Watch the whole performance, if you can, and withdraw the judgement before you saw it. "Anna Karenina" at Mariinsky is indeed a flop. Neimeier's piece is not.

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3 hours ago, Laurent said:

Do not jump to hasty conclusions. Watch the whole performance, if you can, and withdraw the judgement before you saw it. "Anna Karenina" at Mariinsky is indeed a flop. Neimeier's piece is not.

I did say, "from what I saw on video!"   But in addition, I do not like (some of ) the music!    

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Videos can be misleading: sometimes the piece itself is a lot better, and sometimes it's like movie previews, ie, you've seen the whole thing and the other 1 hour 55 minutes is part of your life you can never get back.  However, with limited time and resources, it's a viable option to decide whether to invest time and money into a performance based on the video, knowing that it might not represent the work.  Only critics who are hired to review things have an obligation to go to things they don't like.

Liking/tolerating the music is often a big input into whether to see a production.  We just saw "One Flat Thing Reproduced" in Seattle, and while I loved the industrial banging soundscape, there are people who found it intolerable.  (PNB has turned down the volume levels that composer Willems requested, but when I see him listed as a composer, I always have earplugs at the ready.) 

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Posted (edited)
On 30.03.2018 at 2:26 AM, Helene said:

It was a chorus of chairs, and they got toppled and we're dissheveled more and more as the opera went on.

It was set indoors and took place mostly in the dining room, if I'm remembering the DVD correctly.

It took place entirely in dining rooms, including the duel and the final meeting between Tatiana and Onegin. It's almost a theme in Tcherniakov's productions. There was his Don Giovanni in Aix which took place entirely in a wood-panelled room, and his il trovatore in Brussles, which was set entirely in the lobby of a seedy hotel. Saves money on sets, i suppose. I was amazed when his Macbeth, set in a suburban neighborhood, included inklings of outdoor scenes.

For me perhaps the funniest thing was his follow-up at the Bolshoi, Ruslan and Lyudmila, because the curtain came up on a large and heavily decorated hall and a stage full of singers in colorful traditional costumes with lots of fur trim, though it did seem to me that they were anachronistic. But the audience gasped at the sight and applauded. Eventually I noticed that there were two large television screens at the back, and that the costumes were indeed a historical mish-mash, and then i realized that he'd set the first scene in a tacky Russian wedding palace, and that he'd thumbed his nose at the audience once again, and they'd fallen for it hard.

Still, Vishnevskaya's reaction to Eugene Onegin was nothing in comparison to the reaction of the Poulenc estate to Tcherniakov's production of Dialogues des Carmelites in Mumich, because they actually sued to have the DVD taken off the market, and for a while they succeeded.

Edited by volcanohunter

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On 3/17/2018 at 4:03 AM, meunier fan said:

The lacrosse element at least should go down a storm in Canada I think.

Years - and I mean decades ago - I did a national tour of a play across Canada.  We were playing in Kelowna, British Columbia - nestled in the truly stunning Okanagan Valley - and home to the Ogopogo (Canada's version of the Loch Ness Monster) - and - not having a theatre to suit at that time - the production was placed in the local hockey arena. 

After the first act finished (to a surprisingly good sized and responsive audience) I exited unto the sports vomitory and into my designated hockey changing room.  The interval seemed to stretch forever.  I was afraid - without a tannoy - that I might have missed my call.  I looked out from the vom and - to my surprise - our set had dismantled and they were having a lacrosse game.  Never having seen one I decided (with the PSM's permission of course) to go out and watch it.  I had a great time.  We did - EVENTUALLY - (once the set was reassembled) do the second act to - understandably - a virtually empty house.  T'was a unique occasion.  (Well, for me at any rate).   

😃  We were given a tour of Kelowna when there for a conference last year and chuckled at the description "NHL Row" or something like that apparently where hockey players live in the off season.

I am pretty certain I have read about Neumier updating productions as they evolve over time so who knows what we may end up seeing in Canada.

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