Written September 03, 2015
I'm a Rossini, Verdi, Mozart person who avoids new music. Yet the NYT's review was enthusiastic. So, I considered that I do like the Tempest, incl variations from Enchanted Isand to Prospero's Books. And there were all those chest tatoos (though in the event, their promise of edgy-ness wasn't quite fulfulled). So I went.
This was a largely traditional reading, if with a 21c slant, eg Miranda & Ferdinand just decide they'll get married (or mebbe are married), without staying for Prospero's permission. I was struck during intermission interviews that several singers said how hard the music was, though it'd take someone more knowledgeable than I actually to hear this. What held me was the production, eg, the nifty way characters entered & exited. AND ARIEL - stunning, lots of gymnastic & sinuous things going on, plus extraordinary singing: high-pitched, metalic, non-human, delicate, recognizably coloratura. I will long rememember Ariel. Go for Ariel if nothing else.
Written January 26, 2015
I'm not a big fan of Opera, but I know I should learn to like it. This is an excellent way to enjoy the whole experience. Thank you and I did have a good time....and will go again.
Written January 31, 2015
Listening to opera in English is new to me, so being able to enjoy this adaptation of The ?Tempest to the extent I did was remarkable. The Libretto of Meredith Oakes is wonderful ?beyond words! Easy to follow, understandable and sing-able. Add to that the most magical ?costumes and make up. I am not sure I am crazy about the choice of location the inside of ?the La Scala Opera, but that, too was dont and used magically.?
What is left - is the music. I wish I had special ear plugs to remove the a-tonal annoying ?music by Ades. it was not enjoyable, not fun: at no point could I latch into the music or flow ?with it. But - I am probably in the minority...?
Written April 21, 2015
The "Tempest" was one of Shakespeare's most complex plays. The context of the play is the perception of the "New World" by Europe and England. The "New World" was a place of mystery, strange animals and plants,"noble natives", geography, and climates to Europeans. Shakespeare creates a mysterious and magical island of the "New World". From this context he creates a complex play with drama and humor, with love and revenge, and with slavery and freedom.
The "Tempest" the opera is a great opera containing many of Shakespeare's play, but the opera emphasizes some of the elements of the play and changes some of the actions. I like the opera for creating clearer images and outcomes than the play.
The opera the "Tempest " is a fine opera. Prospero was a great actor and singer in this latest production by the Met!
Written May 03, 2015
Music is good mix of tonality and dissonance - a little more complicated than Britten. Plot is rather unconvincing, but not a rare event in operas. Singing is superior. Piece is not too long. Deserves more than one hearing.