I think it is time for a major blog resurrection. Specifically meaning THIS blog. I have left it dusty and dilapidated for about a year, mainly because I suck and also because I started keeping a rather large, fancy, and non-digital diary. Which took up a lot of time, but offered very little opportunity to talk culture...or art. SO I thought I would post a little something about the past week, which was super opera heavy and amazing. I had the pleasure of seeing Atys at BAM on Friday night. With perfect musical direction by William Christie this gorgeously gilded French Baroque opera was truly a beautiful sight, with magical costumes and glitz enough to confirm that it was indeed originally created for a king, THE king... Louis XIV. Atys tells the rather tragic tale of unrequited love and how nasty things can get when you spurn the romantic advances of a goddess. Seriously, don't spurn an immortal. You will end up a pine tree. That was the most basic thing I took from Atys, but on an artistic level it was simply heaven. This opera had powdered wigs, strange twins doing dances, and plenty of men wearing dainty gold shoes. Intrigued? You should be.
Monday night saw the opening of the Met's season with Donizetti's Anna Bolena. A sucker for the subject material, I was very excited to attend this opera and witness all the hubbub of an opening night at the Met. It certainly did not let me down. Talented costumer Jenny Tiramani outfitted a simply gorgeous cast, with Anna Netrebko singing the role of the queen, Ekaterina Gubanova as Jane Seymour, the extremely handsome Ildar Abdrazakov as Henry VIII, and the equally handsome (though somewhat shifty-eyed) Stephen Costello as Anne Boleyn's old lover (maybe husband? Gasp!) Percy. I found the whole cast to be fabulous, with Netrebko leading the way with great class and a flirtatious style all her own. Personally, it would have been hard to pick between these two gorgeous men, pictured below. Although, I suppose I would have had to go with the one that did not want to cut my head off. But all relationships have problems.
Lastly, on Wednesday I saw the dress rehearsal of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Met. Bartlett Sher's joyful production is simply a delight. Peter Mattei recreates his performance of Figaro with great swarthiness and style (and strangely attractive stripey pants!) The whole cast plays up the silliness of the production to great effect. Isabel Leonard was a fiesty Rosina and Javier Camarena made his Met debut as the Count. I saw this opera for work which allows me to make the definite statement that kids really enjoy this lighthearted production. What's not to love? There's an anvil crushing a pumpkin cart, a massive fireball, and the stripey pants. Let's not forget those.
In summation, opera rules. We should all get to go atleast three times a week. For our health, if nothing else.