1.10.2007

Yin and Yang

Opera first, then knitting.

Last night, once again, I had the good fortune to be able to go to the Metropolitan Opera House to see this:

En ingles!

For those of you who do not know, this is a new opera. Yes! There is such a thing as new opera in this day and age! Actually new operas happen probably more frequently than most people realize. Last year the Met also hosted the world premiere of An American Tragedy by Tobias Picker, with, among others, Nathan Gunn, Patricia Racette, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajeck, and Jennifer Larmore. Wow, what a lineup! All in all, the Met has actually presented the world premiere of 31 works over the past 124 years, and countless other American premieres. Some of those world premieres? La Fanciulla del West and Il Trittico by one Giacomo Puccini, in 1910 and 1918, respectively. And by no means does the Met have exclusive rights to world premieres in the US, let alone around the world! Opera is a living, breathing art form, evolving even now, the evolution of which although is sometimes suspect is frequently astonishing.

This was one of those astonishing times.

I don't know if this opera will stand the test of time, but I can and will say that it made for a tremendously good night at the theater. Tan Dun's The First Emperor is essentially a story about the first emperor of a unified China and his desire to unite the country with an anthem. You can find more information about The First Emperor here and the story here. It work is a mix of eastern and western musical traditions, and the production itself, sumptuous in visual imagry and symbolism, is wedded closely to the music. The rhythms and sounds and movements are mesmerizing at times, and tremendously exciting at others. On top of that we have Placido Domingo in the title role, looking, and sounding, far younger than his actual years. I have read the opinion that Puccini was actually headed in this direction before his death in 1924 (the mixing of eastern and western music), and his final opera, Turandot, certainly suggests this. If this is the path that opera in the 21st centrury is taking I'll be following right behind. (Let me assure you this is much much better than Glass, no offense to any Glass fans...)

Here is my fervent recommendation: if you are at all interested in unique music and visual spectacle (the opening scene itself is worth the price of the ticket), and if you can at all get yourself a ticket to this Saturday's matinee broadcast, get thyself to the movie theater! (Search for locations here.) And report back to me what you think. This opera is sure to be a success on the big screen. It's an event and a half.

Perhaps all this culture has been keeping from my knitting?

Yes.

It's true, it has. Even the long bus ride crosstown and short subway ride downtown isn't sufficient to get very much done. Still, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm almost there though... This is the only piece I've worked on in the last few days. I have only 2 more pieces of trim to go, which really are quick work once I get down to it. Then there's the seaming (not quick work) and knitting of the collar and that's it! There's a bit of a kink in the plan for tomorrow however, a little something called The Rose of Persia...

1 Comments:

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That is a glowing review. I don't know much about opera but I am really intrigued now.....

Thanks for sharing!

 

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