Verdi in Vegas Brings a Touch of Broadway to the Metropolitan Opera

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

What's a theater critic doing at the opera house? Well, opera is theater, after all. But it's the particular Broadway connection of director Michael Mayer that caught New York Times critic Charles Isherwood's eye on the marquee at the Metropolitan Opera.

Best known for directing the Tony Award-winning rock musical Spring Awakening, Mayer is the latest conceptual maestro tapped by Met General Manager Peter Gelb to provide a new perspective to a staple of the operatic repertoire: this time, Verdi's Rigoletto.

The production is set in the Las Vegas of the 1960s. Does Mayer's update let Rigoletto remain true to itself, or should what happens in the Met's version of Vegas stay there? Isherwood lets us know if it's worth the gamble.

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Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

GENARAL MANAGER PETER GELB, WE ALL HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR WHAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED BY YOUR HD IN REAL TIME PRESENTATIONS OF THE MET OPERA LIVE PERFORMANCES WORLD-WIDE IN HUNDREDS OF MOVIE THEATERS AND OTHER PERFORMING ARTS CENTERS, BUT PLEASE REFRAIN FROM PUTTING UNDER CONTRACT THOSE SELF-SERVING NARCISSTIC SET AND COSTUME DESIGNERS WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING TO SENSATIONALIZE THEIR OWN "ACHIEVEMENTS" BY CROSS-OVER PRODUCTIONS THAT CONTRADICT THE LIBRETTISTS' AND OPERA COMPOSERS' INTENTIONS. YOU ARE TOO GOOD A MAN, A MENSCH, WITH ALL YOUR PREVIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS, TO CONTINUE TO BARBARIANIZE THE MASTERPIECES OF OPERA. THE AUTHORS/COMPOSERS HAVE CHOSEN TO COMMUNICATE. NOT TO APPEAR TO BE A PRUDE PURIST, BUT FLASHY, SENSATIONALISM THOUGH IT MAY EXCITE ENTHUSIASM FOR THE UNIQUE, THE SPACED OUT, MAY ALSO SO CLASH WITH THE ORIGINAL INTENTIONS OF THE AUTHORS/COMPOSERS THAT THE AUDIENCES WILL NEVER REALLY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND WHAT WERE THE CREATIVE TEAMS' INTENTIONS AND UPDATING THE STORY LINE AND CHANGING THE LOCALE CAN ONLY CONTRADICT WHAT THE MORES, CUSTOMS, OF THE ORIGINAL TIMES WOULD HAVE COMMANDEERED. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer, "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare" and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. My websites where one may download, FREE, my singing in four solo concerts at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall by going to "Recorded Selections"; www.WagnerOpera.com, www.ShakespeareOpera.com and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com.
Roles that are represented in my singing to be heard on my websites are: Tristan, Siegfried, Goetterdaemmerung Siegfried, Lohengrin, Parsifal, Siegmund, Walther von Stolzing, Florestan, Federico and Eleazar.

Feb. 16 2013 06:19 PM

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