Things you wouldn't know if you didn't watch the simulcasts....
Matti Salminen was a tango singer in his native Finland before switching to opera. Of course you were all already aware of the great Finnish tango tradition.
Michelle DeYoung is even taller than Susan Graham.
The entire broadcast of Tristan und Isolde was directed for HD by someone named Barbara. This was a new approach and worked very well for the particular production. At least one section of the screen would show the whole stage so you wouldn't miss the lighting effects that were so important. I thought it worked most of the time. Shrunk down to a small screen it would not work at all. There was a lot of panning in and out, too.
Deborah Voigt and Robert Dean Smith had absolutely no rehearsal time together, but had at least met before.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Labels: Fan Magazine, News
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Are you sure you saw the opera in HD that I did???? The camera work was dreadful. Barbara something gave us a Liebestod from a singing postage stamp while the majority of the screen was black. In other scenes we were subjected to a Hollywood Squares type viewing that distanced the viewer from this being a live performance. I felt as if I were watching a 13" TV across the room instead of an HD performance. This is totally unacceptable!!!!
I always sit in row 5. If you sat back toward the rear, it would look like the same thing on your TV. Which is bad. Tiny little squares. I think you should complain to the Met.
The camera work was horrible, and distracting. Barbara Sweete apparently thinks that Wagner didn't know what he was doing and the static visual scenes needed more punch (pretty much her exact words at intermission). Her fussy, multiple visuals undercut the drama, and most of all the music. One can see how some egotistical "artist" wanting to make a name for him or herself does destructive things to an opera like this, but is is amazing that the Met management allows it.
It was unquestionably completely different from anything I had seen before. It was necessary to be constantly thinking about how it was being shot instead of how it was. I can see this argument. Maybe one would rather not think about it. Occasional split screens might have been ok, but I don't recall having to think about the camera work before.
Except when I saw the Figaro on TV that I had seen at the ROH. The camera cut out a lot.
Gelb is not notoriously sensible.
I can imagine the reason. The designer designed it to be seen in its entirety. The sets are intended to be a giant geometric abstraction rather than small pictures of individuals. If you filmed it as it was intended, people would complain about that, too. Everyone cannot be made happy. Trying to please everyone at once is also not pleasing.
Robert Dean Smith seems to have on "flaw" of having not the hugest voice, but he kicked butt all over town from the movie theater seats. I heard him with Voight in Frau Ohne Schatten in Chicago this year, so when his name was announced it was a relief and a delight. BTW he is 52 years old.
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