Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thoughts on seeing L'Elisir again

I was very fortunate to see opening night of New York City Opera's L'Elisir d'Amore, thanks to the generosity of my friend Erika, and I wrote about it here.  Last night I was again fortunate to see the L'Elisir, thanks to the generosity of my friend Hernan.  I was happy to see it again.  I love the opera, and would see it a third time gladly.  So here are some thoughts on last night:

  • Why, oh why, are there so many tickets available on discount sites?  Why were there so many empty seats?  Why are people not going to see this?  
  • The whole updating, kitschy thing is cuter if you see it only once.  More and more anachronisms were apparent--would Adina have taken a sip out of a plastic cup with plastic lid and plastic straw in 1960?--and some of the things that were cute the first time weren't as cute the second time.  And I've never cared for modern dance moves to 19th century music, even if the setting is updated.  At least there weren't penguins.
  • The New York Times review I linked in my first post was critical of cutie-patootie conductor Brad Cohen. In truth, the first night I overlooked some things, such as frenzied tempos and lack of ensemble in places, because I was enamored with so much of the singing.  Those things were more apparent on second hearing.  But Brad is still a cutie-patootie.  
  • Stefania Dovan seems to have settled vocally into Adina a little better.  Many of the most lyrical passages were mellower than on opening night.  I would still prefer a Blondchen or Despina as Adina, but that's a personal preference.
  • That said, some of last night's singers seemed tired.  I won't say more, because overall I still like all the singers.

I still say go to the final performances of this production if you can.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

I don't know if I'll be able to fit another performance into my schedule, but I've been thinking of it... and I'm glad you got to! The question of "Why empty seats??" is a haunting one. At least we can take comfort in the knowledge that it is Not Our Fault, as we are spreading the word as zealously as we know how. :) Looking forward to the David Lomeli interview! Can I be cheeky and ask you to ask him if he salsa dances? I'm guessing yes.