New York City Opera’s evening of “Monodramas” (under that
general title) may not appeal to the opera-goer who prefers such typical fare as the company’s other offering this week, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, but I found it a devilish and delightful exploration of the depths of inner consciousness.
Donizetti described to his father the premiere cast of L’Elisir in terms of lukewarm praise—the tenor only “passable” the soprano’s voice “pretty” and the bass “a little hammy.”
In this intriguing and unpredictable recital, American countertenor, Lawrence Zazzo, and his accompanist, Simon Lepper, presented a dynamic sequence of American song from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Proof that literalism isn’t truth: J¸rgen Flimm’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, first heard at the Met and at the Royal Opera House, London in 2007.
Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau gave the finest recital so far in the Wigmore Hall’s decade by decade series of German Song.
Victorien Sardou wrote the melodrama La Tosca, a play subject to
all sorts of incidental drama and off-stage intrigue, for Sarah Bernhardt.
“All the world’s a stage” and for Morris Robinson the
translation was literal. From the football field to the grand opera he managed
to make few stage set changes along the way.