October 27, 2013
The Nose is Not So Much
As a short story, The Nose is tops. It has humor with a twist, because, in a way, it is all of us, competing with the part of ourselves that wants to be the best possible version of us without the warts. But is is, after all, a story based on an absurdity. As an opera, especially for an audience that does not speak or understand Russian, the humor, the emotional content, the nuances are lost in repetitious music and lyrics that follow the short story, but resonate quite differently when sung.
As a production, the show has much to be proud of. The artistic concept, the scenery, the costumes, and the staging have an engaging allure, lots of color, and bounce. The voices are good, the acting appropriate given the limited emotional range of the show. As a "movie" Life from the Met, the close ups of the lead, whose nose is very obviously in its normal place, subtract from the story's twist.
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