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View Diary: SNLC, Vol. CCCLXIV / SN@TO 16: Parsifal Edition (81 comments)

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  •  I was there! (3+ / 0-)

    I had intended to leave after Act II (before it began) but I was hooked and stayed for the whole thing.  Matinees at the Met are wonderful - the audience (especially in the nosebleed seats) is fully engaged and yesterday even the standing room area at the very back of the top tier was full.

    To cut to the chase, I thought Girard's staging was wonderful - a beautifully sensitive updating using some technology (vivid, understated projections) and modern dress.  The knights were not in business suits; they wore white shirts, untucked, with black pants and bare feet, and the ladies were in gray or white dresses. This is a very common neutral modern dress approach - I've seen it in Shakespeare and all sorts of other period pieces.  It removes the historical specificity of the time period and replaces it with something more abstract, which here is fitting since we're told by the aging Knight that in this sacred place "time and space" operate differently than in the world.  Girard used a kind of chiaroscuro palette, with darks and lights vividly contrasted, which also made the bright white shirts of the Knights pop - another manifestation of purity.

    Girard's set designer (wish I had the name) also used what we recognize as moonscapes and simple images from space - sun and planetary images, abstracted - to heighten the desolation and grandeur.  Fantastic.  It gave Wagner the epic scale his works require.

    I've also seen the updated Ring Cycle by Lepage, and Girard's use of minimalism is far more satisfying.  There's nothing clunking around on stage, and the simplicity lets the music sing, so to speak.

    The performers were fine (Rene Pepe the best, Jonas Kauffman less satisfying, imo) but the staging is what I'll really remember.  

    •  My emailer continues re: HD (3+ / 0-)
      amazing visuals and maybe the best singing I have heard in my XX years of opera going.  I do feel maybe it was the single best performance I have ever seen.  So if there's an encore, maybe check it out.  Or wait until it comes on TV, though watch on  a large screen since Jonas Kaufmann is very handsome and beautifully directed and staged.

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 09:21:51 AM PST

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    •  stage designer was...... (0+ / 0-)

      .....Michael Levine (presumably no relation to James).

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:42:40 PM PST

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