Written April 21, 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 November 11, 2012
This version of the Tempest by the modern opera composer, Thomas Ades is wonderful. The music fits the emotions and the libretto makes clear the essential story. The staging is very good, the singing is very good. What more can you ask.
Written July 29, 2014
A great new production from the Met, superbly directed, sung, staged. The music is modern but very beautiful and suited to the subject of Shakespeare's play. The libretto, compared to Shakespeare, was jingly and simpleminded--not successful in my opinion.
The Regal Carousel theater where I saw it has a superior sound system to two other theaters I have viewed Met HD in, one in Dewitt, one in NYC (the Ziegfeld).
Written September 16, 2014
It was excellent and I very much enjoyed it. My main criticism, and one I've had for other opera HD versions, is that they do too many close ups and not enough full stage shots. I would appreciate it if you could convey this to the people at the Met who make the videos.
Written November 19, 2012
I checked out some video clips on You.tube and instantly knew I wanted to see this opera. I was not dissapointed one bit. It was a full theatre which thrilled me. The entire production was so wonderful, and having Deborah Voight as the moderator was great, unlike the stilted Renee Fleming from an earlier transmission. I was swept up the minute the orchestra began to play and never lost interest . The singers were all beyond fantastic, Simon Keenlyside was so perfect as Prespero, I couldn't believe it when he told Voight that before each performance he actually had the remarkable body art done by a makeup artist. They showed a brief clip of this actual process. I thought Keenlyside was just magic and such an incredible voice. All the performers had perfect voices for their parts, Miranda was so beautiful with a voice to match, and Ariel peformed an almost impossible vocal part with such ease. I could go on forever, but won't. Just if you have a chance to see it, please attend.