Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hier nimm dies Kleinod

Almost as good as a magic Glockenspiel: the Met's electronic brochure for the 2010-11 season! I expected this to be merely an electronic version of the publication which my mailbox so eagerly awaits, but no! it is more! Over 70 pages of exciting pictures and production details are augmented by audio clips and video excerpts! I have resisted the temptation to listen and watch from cover to cover, but among other gems, this contains Garanca-for-Alagna's "Seguidille," which is one of the sexiest I've seen. It also contains provocative quotes like Willy Decker's assertion that Violetta is the only character of La Traviata "who truly loves, selflessly." Hmmm. But if Alfredo doesn't love her selflessly, the opera is so much less emotionally satisfying/devastating! She does come off best, there's no denying it; and one could make much of "Amami, Alfredo! Amami quanto io t'amo!" All the same, isn't it best if we believe all three of the principal characters when they lament their partial culpability in the third act? I'd be interested to see a production with an "Alfredo is actually rather pathetic and projects as much on to her as everyone else, just in different ways" slant... but at least at this moment in time, the "tragedy unleashed by misunderstandings (and consumption)" version is dearer to my heart.

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