A Journey to The Enchanted Island

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The shipwreck in 'The Enchanted Island' (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

The Enchanted Island is not a new opera per se, but rather a new work for the opera stage with a story built around music by several composers, notably Handel, Vivaldi and Rameau. The production is inspired by the musical pastiches of the 18th century, fusing Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. It had its world premiere on Dec. 31.

Part of the work's draw is the starry cast, which includes David Daniels, Danielle de Niese, Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo and Luca Pisaroni in leading roles and a group of younger singers (Paul Appleby, Layla Claire, Elizabeth DeShong, Elliot Madore, Lisette Oropesa, Anthony Roth Costanzo). Jeremy Sams is the main creative mastermind.


Listen to today's broadcast and share your reactions in the comments box below.

Comments [10]

Factferreter from NY

Listened to the simulcast on Jan.21,Placido Domingo's birthday and mine, and was,in a word,"enchanted" by the lovely music and voices.

Jan. 31 2012 08:42 PM
Elodie Bentley

I thought the libretto was fun, I took it all as tongue in with all sorts of references. Reminded me at times of Gilbert and Sullivan. It was just a fun romp with wonderful voices, a knockout set and costumes that were way over the top. Sadly, I felt that it wasn't a good showcase for Placido Domingo at this stage of his career. I have seen him in recent roles where he was fine, this was just not a good fit for him.

Jan. 23 2012 12:35 PM
Kathryn Riss from New Jersey

My husband and I attended the simulcast in Edison on Saturday and loved it!

This is grand opera indeed.

It is long, and perhaps in later productions the repeats on some sections could be cut, particularly Prospero's and Ariel's opening. Better to move the action forward than to repeat a point already well made.

Jan. 23 2012 09:57 AM

Julian is right. I was searching for the word. This is pandering. I went to the performance this weekend. Mostly good voices (poor Placido is simply too old and as his self-referential recitativo admitted, he's lost all enthusiasm), fairly stunning visuals, but talk about a "crippling" libretto. This one's had its legs amputated somewhere above the neck. I couldn't help wondering whether the libretto wasn't an English translation of, what, something written by just one of those thousand legendary monkeys who, given enough time, could write all the world's literature. Seriously, with so many misusages, it actually reads as if it were written by whomever normally writes the Met's back-of-the-seat subtitles.

Jan. 23 2012 09:44 AM
mady goldstein from NY

Any way to get a CD of this wonderful concert?

Jan. 22 2012 08:25 PM
Janet from NYC from New York, NY

Thanks for broadcasting this. I went to the Met earlier this week, but it was worth listening to it again! What a stellar cast -- pyrotechnical singing!

Jan. 21 2012 04:42 PM
Geoffrey from NYC

How great to hear these gorgeous arias sung by world-class voices and accompanied by a superb orchestra. Visually, the production is a stunner.

Jan. 21 2012 04:08 PM
Oluf from Gentofte North of Copenhagen, Denmark

Great to listen to this new old opera on the net, as well as hearing the comments

Jan. 21 2012 03:19 PM
Julian from Manhattan

With all the wonderful baroque oratorios that are extant, this is a strange
type of pandering, for lack of a better word. Perhaps we should hybridize Beethoven with Mozart, like putting the Ode to Joy in at the end of the Magic Flute, and then setting the music to something by Goethe???

Jan. 21 2012 02:26 PM
Laura Sauriat from Harlem, NY

This is an awesome treat! Thanks to all at the Met and WQXR for bringing it to my ears.

Jan. 21 2012 01:59 PM

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