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#16 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:33 PM

Which is why people who like New Music don't rely on those institutions.

 

I wouldn't say this is a new phenomenon.  It's been that way at least since the '50s.  What I think is different now is that, for whatever reason (and I think a big part of the reason is the accessibility of many current styles), New Music has a larger general audience than it has at any time since the '50s.  Larger crowds, and the more populist venues that spring up to serve them, attract notice.

 

I'm going to a show at the Baryshnikov Arts Center tonight -- and that's one of the stodgier places I frequent.

 

(Oddly, New York City Ballet has managed to regain the reputation of being impeccably contemporary.  I guess that's a testament to the lingering magic of Balanchine.  But it's also privileged the work of younger choreographers like Justin Peck.  And it doesn't hurt that it has a new stable of highly personable young stars.)

 

ETA -- No, I'm going to BAC tomorrow.  I'm going to the Met tonight -- speaking of stodgy.


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#17 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:35 PM

I have to say that I'm extremely excited about the appointment of Andrew Litton as NYCB Music Director.  I think the orchestra has long been a weak link there -- which has been unfortunate for a company whose entire style is based on musicality.  Hiring a first-rate conductor as Music Director shows a real commitment to improving the orhestra.


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#18 taion

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:06 PM

My sample size of 1 says that the orchestra both sounds better and follows the dancers better. Damn, I'm really tempted to go again tonight.


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#19 taion

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:19 PM

Phew... seems like the Times reviewer also liked that performance: http://www.nytimes.c...-and-music.html
 
I'm glad I'm not as completely ignorant as I feared.

It's a shame that one is only allowed to get Met rush tickets once every 7 days. Otherwise there's a good chance I would have tried to go to the Met tonight as well. I think I need to find less stodgy hobbies.


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#20 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 05:48 AM


ETA -- No, I'm going to BAC tomorrow.  I'm going to the Met tonight -- speaking of stodgy.

 

Just absolute crud.  Incredibly well-performed crud -- the singing, conducting, and playing were well beyond praise -- but the piece itself (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), and this production of it, are simply stupid (and not particularly good music). 

 

The guy sitting next to me (even older than me) wondered why Young People don't regularly come to the Met, but came for Lulu.  Um, duh.  Just compare this, as both a work and a production, with the current Met Lulu.  Young People -- and indeed all opera non-initiates -- don't enjoy having their intelligence insulted.  And you know what?  Neither do I.


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#21 taion

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:44 PM

Actually, one of my friends who's a bit younger than me (you may remember running into her at LoftOpera) did end up going last night, I think with another Young Person.

 

Although she also holds The Pearl Fishers in some contempt and usually leaves after the first act, I think.


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#22 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 05:19 PM

What gets me is that this production is getting such uniform praise.  Because it "takes the work seriously" by updating it to the present.  To me, this makes the same mistake as the current Met production of Gounod's Faust:  it "takes seriously" a meretricious work that can only be appreciated for some pretty music amidst the mush, and that is so stupid it can only work as camp (NB:  I'm talking about Gounod's Faust -- not Goethe's).  You shouldn't try to make these operas work "seriously".  You should present them as the baubles they are.


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#23 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 05:59 PM

Or you can go full regie, and find some kernel of intelligent matter underlying the libretto, and run with it, essentially recasting the opera.  Like that production that presented Rusalka as a story of child abuse.
 
But the New York mainstream opera audience is too conservative (I'd like to say "braindead") for that.
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#24 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:06 PM

Paul, was this the article you read?
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#25 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:47 PM

Or this?
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#26 Rail Paul

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:59 PM

The WaPo article was among them, but I've noticed several articles on the general topic lately.


It's not unlike the discussions about Rent, Urinetown, etc and "serious" music.
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#27 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 08:52 PM

What on earth is stupid about the story of how two men's vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for the same woman, whose own dilemma is the conflict between secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess?

 

Oh...okay.



#28 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:21 PM

See, that's not even the stupid part.

The stupid part is the last act, where (SPOILER ALERT) the jilted man, who is the ruler of the town they're in, having sentenced his former friend and the former friend's lover the fallen priestess to death for desecrating their oaths (the priestess's oath of chastity, and the friends' mutual oath to forego the priestess), then finds out that the fallen priestess  had, as a girl, bravely saved his life.  So he sets fire to the town he's the ruler of in order to distract the townspeople from the execution, thus permitting his friend and the fallen priestess to escape.  As the curtain falls he awaits his fate.


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#29 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:25 PM

Well I got twenty minutes into act one, then went back to The Slits. 

 

I assumed you opera guys loved this stuff.  :D



#30 Rail Paul

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:40 PM

Sounds like even abundant nudity won't save that Turkey.
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