This is the first musical review I’ve done, so go easy folks (the program above is blurred so I don't get copyright suits).
After lunch today, I ambled, well, walked fast, over to the Opera Bastille where I knew Macbeth, one on my faves, was playing. I knew when it began and I thought that if I was done my lunch in proper time without being rude, I’d get there in time. Well, I did, sort of.
I was aiming for the 5 € standing room sold 15 minutes before (where, at the old 39th St. Met, I’d met Colette, 50 years ago (holy cow, I gotta come up with a golden idea soon, oh that’s easy, a guy dropped a nice gold ring on the sidewalk today) but they had sold out, so I was directed (very nicely) to the box office aka the Group W bench, where 10 folk were in line and no one was moving; a tux’d guy comes up to me and asks, “are you a senior perhaps?”; very civilized, well, I guess, over here; jump the line (love it when I jump the line on the premier line-jumpers on the globe) – at this point even my youngest grandchild starts to drift away – get to the point G-pa.
Ok so I paid 20 € more than I expected to but was in the 12th row center besides a gorgeous lady with a short dress. In any case, I’d read that it was done in contemporary dress, etc., and sometimes I think this works, Seller’s in particular, seems to be able to do opera a la moderne (well, he’s a Haavahd guy), but it’s not assured, as the Metro announcements tell you. So I was primed to walk out if I hated the production.
The obligatory announcement was made, M. Blah is indisposed - Oh no – but Madame Blech will substitute – Ahhhh. Well she was a real fatty, but the rest of the cast does Pilates, eats well and is dressed like Scots dudes and dudesses today do; ties, suits, elegant dresses - cool.
The singing was pretty good, not Leopoldine Rysanek and Leonard Warenoff, circa 1959, but OK. But, but, but, the changes of scenes (Google-Earth-type images), sets (futuristic blocky) and the finale – when bombs burst in air and mortars came through the scenery – was every 11 year old boy’s dream.
Worth the price of admission and the distraction of the lady’s thighs.
Was there nothing wrong? Well, the conductor, one Teodor Currentzis, hails from Novossibirsk, Siberia, whose company is the co-producer and it’s gotta be really cold and out of touch up there because his garb and hair were stuck in Peter Serkin 1960-land. And, he learned conducting from watching tapes of Louis Bernstein and Roberto Remigio Benigni.
Go? Yes, but if you want to really get a cheap high, sneak in 15 minutes from the end just to see the walls come tumbling down.