The New York music and theater scene is abuzz over the mechanical failure that left the gods of Valhalla earthbound and unable to enter their spiffy new digs at the end of last night’s performance of Robert Lepage’s spectacular new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the MET. James Oestreich was in Times Square for the soggy HD broadcast. The production is getting wildly mixed reviews. David Finkle calls it a “five-alarm disappointment.” The LA Times’ James Taylor reported a mixed reception for the production by the audience vut warm ovations for the cast and orchestra — and a bit of shock at James Levine’s appearance. Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim feels the production serves the music well, and reports that “no Rhinemaidens were crushed by the 40-ton set”, and the savvy, sassy Tyro Theater Critic liked it a lot, calling it “a blend of the old and the new that strikes gold.” Heidi Waleson mostly enjoyed it, and mirrored TTC on the point of “a high-tech extravaganza oddly married to an old-fashioned stand-and-sing aesthetic.” I had a schedule conflict last night, but I will be catching an upcoming performance and, no doubt, weiging in.
Details at Classical Source.
James Barron has the details at the NY Times. Maestro Levine’s continuing struggle against multiple illnesses has many of his fans worried, but if there is any good news to come out of this it is that Italian conductor Fabio Luisi, who recently quit as director of the Staatskapelle Dresden, will be leading Tosca and Lulu at the MET. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: he’s one of the most exciting maestros in Europe, and I’d wager that he’d make a hugely favorable impression as a music director on this side of the Atlantic.