Thursday, January 1, 2015


One last post on good opera in 2014.

In Kasper Holten's production of Eugene Onegin, a coproduction with the ROH, I loved the overlaying of time and the emphasis on the (for me) truism that time isn't necessarily sequential but a selection of options all of which are available in the great hologram of existence. Unlike the SSO's Elektra (don't mistake me - the Elektra was the highlight of the year), the use of dance here was at times sublimely successful, adding great depth.

Nicole Car had a deserved triumph

The other interesting work was from Sydney Chamber Opera, a bold company doing bold work like their Owen Wingrave which I thought I had blogged on about but can't find in the rush of this moment. In 2014 it was Mayakovsky, music by Sydney's Michael Smetanin and libretto by Melbourne's Alison Croggon. And it sold out.

At the very least I learnt something about the revolutionary Russian poet, Stalin's man.


Susan Scheid said...

What a pleasure to start the New Year reading yours and David's opera posts. I've read the three Before I Forget posts in succession, and it's as if I'm reading live dispatches from the operatic front. Happiest of New Years to you and yours!

wanderer said...

Thanks for reading Sue and very best wishes for the New Year to you and everyone over your way.

Anonymous said...

HNY W, n 2 K.

David said...

So pleased you liked the Holten Onegin. I couldn't understand all the negativity about it here: what's so hard to grasp about an older, sadder Tatyana and Onegin looking back on their younger selves? Because we had Keenlyside and Stoyanova, it might have been hard to believe in them as vulnerable young people, so the dance doubles worked. It looks even better on DVD.

Curious to know more about Mayakovsky The Opera

wanderer said...

David, I had heard rumours about the ROH show getting some brick bats, hard to imagine why. I thought it exquisite: beautifully set, beautifully dressed and coloured with generally spare poignant (can colour be poignant) colours with flashes of rich for emotion, with beautifully crafted stage work. The dance was achingly sad and the whole effect of yesterday today and tomorrow just wonderful.

The Mayakovsky was essentially biographical set in a cold brutal concrete space with abstract video projections. There's a small orchestra with electronics - jagged comes to mind, not inappropriately. I'll try and get some notes on-line later. Here's a meaningful review.