Thursday, December 21, 2006


That is the time I promptly vacated my seat and walked out of Tan Dun's The First Emperor, the first true failure of the season (not counting Cristina Gallardo-Domas, who was overshadowed by the lovely context in which she blew).

I don't have much to say. The score and libretto are a disaster. The singing was basically fine. Domingo seemed to sound OK though Futral wasn't having an easy time of it. She bears no responsibility, however; the score is awkward and unsingable.

A couple of interesting orchestral bits and some slick design elements were not enough to make up for this $2 Million mess.

I am listening to the end of the Sirius broadcast and of course the audience is cheering like crazy and it's making me furious.

Update: Sounds like Tan Dun and the librettist got some spirited boos. Makes me slightly wish I'd stayed.

Further Update: Maury doesn't care for this opera.

JSU isn't wild about the libretto...


Anonymous straussmonster said...

Well, now I'm feeling considerably better about not having stayed in town long enough this December to make it!

11:01 AM  
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Anonymous Richard Utts said...

Don't blame Futral - that vocal line she was stuck with was both stupid & impossible. Wow - more than three hours of gongs, bells, drums & some other strange noises - I gave up going into the second hour on Sirius. When will opera companies stop spending millions of dollars on bad modern operas???

6:38 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I certainly like some newer opera. I really quite liked An American Tragedy. This, however, was a disaster.

Ditto on Futral. It was not her fault.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Nice even-handed yet honest review from AT:

5:26 AM  
Blogger Lisa Hirsch said...

I just put up a long, long posting on my blog, based on the telecast.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...on Tan Dun: Take a look at the Santa Fe TEA MIRROR OF THE SOUL review in Nov/Dec American Record Guide. Tells it like it is.

7:18 PM  
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