Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weia! Waga! Woge, du Welle...

The Met season has begun! Great was my rejoicing to behold the house ablaze with lights, the plaza thronged with the formally-dressed; to greet the ushers, to ascend the stair, to drink once more from the water fountains dedicated to Ezio Pinza. A full report will have to be of Wagnerian proportions, and be postponed at least until after I have lectured tomorrow. But the joyous news extends to the fact that the sets have been promoted, in my head, from The Picket Fence of Symbolism to Robert Lepage's Design for the Ring. The house was abuzz with talk! My beloved flatmate and I of course contributed our share, and were happily chattering about interpretations as we exited, waited at the stage door, gave up on waiting, and shared dinner and a bottle of wine at a nearby restaurant. There were a few points which I thought could have worked better, it's true. But the direction did not seem to me to cramp the drama; rather it opened it up, highlighting themes and examining the implications of the characters' interactions (wondrous to relate!) At the close, there was a determined cadre of booers, but it was, clearly, a cadre; the energy in the house was positive, the applause hearty and unfeigned. Some of the bravos, including my own, may have been augmented for the sake of trotzing the Buhrufer (clearly it is late at night, since my English and German are beginning to cross-pollinate), but the reaction was unfeignedly passionate.

The discussion of the production's ideas and aesthetic merits continued unabated around us as we slowly filed down the stairs, surrounded by men in black tie and women in couture.  Deborah Voigt was right behind us as we exited! She looked genuinely fabulous in a deep-cut, sweeping purple gown (apparently by Escada), and we wanted to say hello and how excited we were for her Brünnhilde, but she and her escort were funneled off to a gala reception, alas. More details on the exciting moral ambiguities, vivid characterizations, and striking imagery (and occasional question marks and misfires) of the production and its singers (notably the striking Stephanie Blythe and the exciting Bryn Terfel) tomorrow, not to mention dear Maestro Levine. For now, I shall let myself be lulled by what Fr. M. Owen Lee has called "a lullaby for the newborn world": Weia! Waga! Woge, du Welle, walle zur Wiege! Wagala weia! Wallala, weiala weia!

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