Thursday, June 02, 2011

I went to a big, local cinema to see and hear Wagner's Die Walkure performed 'live' at the Met (PRO):

Gosh, what a spectacle. The singers for this performance got great reviews, and I thought they were wonderful. The staging had its fascinating moments, and it's notwworthy that this particular stage equipment enabled the Valkyries to sing their parts near the audience. Apparently, traditional staging methods put the Valks partially behind a curtain, so they cannot sing solo, and have to double their voice parts. The Ride of the Valkyries is spectacular theater, due to Wagner's wonderful voice writing.
This video was Opera with subtitles and closeups! And the actor-singers (with one exception) were up to the kind of acting that makes closeups worthwhile. This astonishing opera is drama, drama, drama, with great singing and music to set the moods. There was great doubt when subtitles were first introduced into opera, and this was my first experience of them. Without them, I would have had a good idea of what was going on; with them, I knew how to interpret every gesture and vocal subtlety. I think I would want subtitles even for an opera in English.
Tomorrow, I will post my gripes.

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