Written September 16, 2014
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"!)
Written September 19, 2014
The enormity of the work is sweeping... emotional and the libretto as well as the magnificent music makes for the complete experience. The cast was top tier Metropolitan Opera quality and the transmission both sound and visual brought you up close and very personal.
I was a subscriber to the Met for many years and until last year had tremendous seats at the opera house, seeing the productions on the big screen makes for a totally different experience.. Though nothing can repleicate the feeling of seeing live performance, the HD transmissions make for a very good second choise.
Written January 24, 2013
What an outstanding performance this was - especially from Brian Hymel - what a singer. He has ALL the chops necessary for this opera, and it was glorious singing!! Bravo, especially to him. Susan Graham and Deborah Voigt were outstanding, as was all the cast, in fact. Real drama, attention to detail, practical movements necessary for the drama without being ridiculously demanding on the singers, etc. Obviously I liked it a LOT. Chorus did a wonderful job - they are sounding so good these years!!
Written January 25, 2013
The large chorus was amazing, wonderful acting and singing. Deborah Voigt was also excellent. I found Berlioz music less moving that recent productions of Othello and Maria Stuarda but all of these productions were the very best staged anywhere. I feel very lucky
to have Live in HD available to the general public.
Written January 24, 2013
yes it was long!! and for a person without "classical" education [meaning knowledge of the Greek and Roman culture] a lot of name dropping of obscure names. But for those for whom each nugget adds layers of meaning - a rich banquet. And, not less, the ghost of Shakespeare hovers over the action: the comic relief of two "lower class sailors" to open Act V, counterpoints the grief and hysteria, and whole rainbow of emotions that Berlioz evokes.
Looking at other productions [admittedly on YouTube], I appreciated the current Met production as "lavish", and "dynamic" with lots of crowd/chorus action. This is an opera that leans heavily on crowd scenes. The principal lead singers were stunning - believable people - way beyond the "park and bark" stereotype of bad acting in bygone decades.
I confess I did yawn a bit at the sheer length and number of dance sequences, but I also know that this was an intrinsic part of 19th century spectacle. Great show!!