Despite a disclaimer slide warning that some North American cinemas might experience transmission
interruptions, the broadcast went smoothly for once, nearly six hours of it. Great performance of a Wagnerian masterpiece that is in a league of its own! But the AMC 25 is apparently going to take at least a month to repair an escalator used to assist patrons down from its lofty cinematic heights, and the foyer of screening room 17, where "Parsifal" was shown, smelled as if someone had recently used it as a toilet. Aren't more effective cleaning products available to movie "palaces"?
Excellent production of one of the grandest, most challenging operas of them all, as only (probably)
the Met could do it. A revival of the 2003 production, with excellent performances by Deborah Voigt (Cassandra), Bryan Hymel (Aeneas), and Susan Graham (Dido). This was the encore (on January 23rd) of the live telecast (from January 5th), so, although I rate it "GO," you may have to look for it on PBS as one of its Great Performances telecasts. Music and libretto is by Hector Berlioz, based on Virgil's Aeneid. Five acts with two intermissions, running almost five and a half hours. (Then there's Wagner's "Gotterdammerung"!)
Gustavo Dudamel is undoubtedly an international star, as charismatic as he is talented, and his work
with El Sistemo to instill classical (symphonic) music in the young people of Venezuela is worthy of celebration, but an hour of promotion before the actual concert began smacked of overkill. Once the concert got underway, it was mostly an exercise in the sublime, and I was thankful for the opportunity to hear this rarely performed titanic masterpiece, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand."
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