Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Iphigenie en Sale

In a 4AM IM to Alex from a problematically orange hotel room in London, I proclaimed that, due to opening night pricing and a pocket book drained from a failed attempt at low budget international travel, I would not be attending the Iphigenie prima.

Then a spectacular thing happened!

Iphigenie went en sale. This happened last year for the opening night of Die Ägyptische Helena. If an opening night is not selling well, it seems the best strategy is to wait it out until about 24 hours before, as there just may be some price slashing.

I could not be more pleased that this happened. Not only because I love a bargain...

Folks. RUN to this production. I'll make it easy: Click here for tickets to this terrific production

Stephen Wadsworth, whose Rodelinda was without question the best part of that particular evening, has brought to the Met (via Seattle) a tasteful, coherent and ultimately pretty simple production. Punctuated with a few moments of well placed theatricality, this staging is effective in a way very few of the new productions in the past couple seasons have been. In fact, only Minghellafly comes to mind, really.

The thing is, the performances this evening could have been given in a flourescent lit rehearsal space and I'd have been on my feet screaming.

Susan Graham. Who knew? I mean, I liked her a lot in AmTrag, and thought her Komponist was totally solid. But seriously--I always sorta figured she may be a hair on the unexciting side. Not so...in addition to seeming totally comfortable in the role (she HAS sung it a fair number of times at this point...) she brought a sensitivity and and an urgency that really caught me off guard. Add to that a completely committed physical performance and you are left with excitement indeed.

Maury and I are currently discussing going to every performance.

Groves and Domingo seriously gayed it up as Pylade and Oreste. It was really sort of sweet and sad. And they both sang the crap out of those roles. It's unbelievable to me that Domingo's sound is still as big and focused as it is. It was my first time hearing Groves, and I'm pretty impressed. And what a gorgeous role...

Is it fine if I like Iphigenie more than Orfeo? Because, I think I am leaning that way. Maybe it's just a phase.

So, this gets my vote for best thing so far this season. See you there. Seriously, maybe at every performance.

Maury makes a bold proclamation.
JSU is none too pleased.


Unknown said...

Quick comments as I head off to class:

it is perfectly okay to like Iphigenie better than Orfeo (or Orphee) because it really is the pinnacle of everything Gluck had learned as an opera composer. You'd be floored if you knew how much of the music was recycled.

And Pylades' aria "Unis des la plus tendre enfance" is one of the glories of the lyric tenor repertory.

Lisa Hirsch said...

You know, Domingo was singing a baritone role - Bo Skovhus sang it in SF earlier this year.

Unknown said...

Lisa: The Vienna version of the opera has Oreste sung by a tenor, but the role itself is not transposed at all from the original Paris version--the changes are in orchestration and scansion, and some orchestral music. So it's pretty much zwischenfach to begin with; the most important thing is to have contrasting voices in the two roles.

Maury D'annato said...

I wish to at once validate the choice of Iph over Orph and also say: don't judge Orph by the dreary stuff we saw last season. I wish you'd gotten to see the Podles do it on basically cardboard sets in Ann Arbor.

Jonathan said...

Yes, I totally admit I am approaching Iph/Orph with ultimately very little experience with either. And yes, I was glad Eva Peron and Abe Lincoln were not in this production.