Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

The Good News

February 24, 2010


I am in a good mood this week. Let me count the ways. Well first off, any week with a new release from Joanna Newsom is a good one. When that release is Have One On Me, a three disc magnum opus, it’s a great one. It’s like Christmas and I’m just starting to explore all of the music contained therein.

A scene from La Traviata directed by Willy Decker at De Nederlandse Opera

And while I’m at it, I was rather pleased to hear the final official details of the Metropolitan Opera's 10/11 season announced on Monday. There are more than a few very interesting things in the proposal including Adams’ Nixon in China, the Willy Decker-directed La Traviata, and the first two installments of the new Ring cycle from Robert LePage. But most of all, it’s exciting to see the country’s biggest opera house produce a season that actually looks like it might have come out of the last two decades. Of course, the substantial conservative elements of the New York opera audience aren't going quietly. Just take a look around the comments areas on Parterre Box if you want to hear the complaints over the lack of appearances by dead singer or obscure Europeans with minor careers. Hands are being wrung over the threat of “Regie clichés” even though lord knows how the average New York opera goer would have been exposed to those in the first place without traveling overseas. My only real complaint is that the best elements of the schedule are so spread out that it makes it difficult to coalesce my interests into a small series of excursions. Other best bets are sure to be Reneé Fleming in Strauss’ Capriccio and the Simon Rattle-led performances of Pelléas et Mélisande.

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