Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tristan Bust

Well THAT was something of a lowpoint in my operagoing career, and on my first attempt to see T n' I live, no less. Serious weak sauce alert.

I spent the first act in the penalty box (thanks Delaware!) which was packed for some reason. Watson sounded nicht gut on the List Hall sound system. Like, actual cringe, muttering "Damn" under my breath, nails on a larynx unpleasant at some points.

I got up to my balc box for Act II and some tourist d-bag sitting in my seat says "What, you're just coming for the second act?" Dick. The good news about Act II was that Watson sounded perfectly fine in person. The bad news was that it was way, way boring. I would have thought Tristan could basically work under any circumstances, but I would have been wrong. It does not work when there is zero chemistry going on among the principals. I mean, when Konig Marke's monologue is the most exciting thing in the show, that's just not cool.

Now, I don't want to totally blame the principals. Watson certainly deserves the gratitude reserved for people willing to cover Wagner. That is some thankless shiz right there. And c' was the last perf in a run where the conductor was the biggest story, not to mention a Saturday night and snowing. Also, she was up there with Seiffert, who despite his nice sounding voice clearly could not act his way out of a plastic bag. (Exercise: Pretend you have just been run through with a broadsword. Does that make you happy, sad, or the same?)

Also: I know I'm the last person in the universe to get an opinion about this production, but does anyone else feel like the Met picked it up at IKEA? It's all soothing Nordic colors, competing faux wood veneers, modernish lines, and a bit cheap looking. Lest this production get in a show without one flub, you'll be glad to know the lift for the obelisk thing got caught or something when Melot is busting in during Act II and there was this sort of awkward section where no one knew where to look because Marke hadn't arrived from under the stage yet.

I was thinking about maybe not saying this in public, but oh well. I bailed on Act III. I wanted to just forget the whole business and go home and make plane tickets for Voigt/Forbis in Chicago next month. I just didn't want my first time to be like that, and I think we can all agree this was just the tip, right?


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