Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pauvre Mignon

Seeing as how I don't understand sung French so well, if MJ didn't keep reminding me that the story is completely wack I might just say Mignon sounds better than R&J, as puffball French operas go. The MODB has it as the second most popular opera not performed in the past half century (reigning champ is Meyerbeer's Les Huegenots).

Now why don't crazy opera directors revive things like this and go to town on them? Unlike, say, Madame Butterfly, which really ought to be left alone, Mignon is just begging for some deconstruction. French opera of that period gets uncomfortable because the 19th century archetypes age so poorly (being embarrassed by the past is a funny phenomenon, isn't it?), so a production that earnestly unpacked some of that would be neat. I say bring on gun toting Native American Mignon in space.

Granted, my appreciation isn't hurt by the sweet lineup on this b-cast: Rise Stevens, Ezio Pinza, and the very awesome tenor, whoever he is.


Lisa Hirsch said...

Probably Richard Crooks, who WAS awesome. (Could be Melton.)

Alex said...

Indeed, it was Melton...god bless the MODB:

Maury D'annato said...

You know, I had assumed Mignon was something rather dull, but they replayed it last night and it seems delightful. I'm sure it's one of those things that's a lead balloon with the wrong people in it, but with a good cast it's kind of terrific.

Will said...

I'd willingly vote for a season of the Mignons of the opera repertory, a great exploration of the undeservedly neglected part of the repertory versus the endless rehashing of the Top 20. But I'm told it would all be box office poison.