Thursday, December 21, 2006

9:30

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...

8 Comments:

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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3:39 PM  
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: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/23/arts/music/23empe.html?pagewanted=2

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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11:08 PM  

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