4/01/2006

I Could Have Slept All Night

I went last night to see the Canadian Opera Company's production of Berg's opera Wozzeck. This was territory I hadn't trod before - an opera clocking in at only 90 minutes. What of the marathons I've become used to scratching my cultural itch with? You know, the 5 1/2 hour Wagner epics?

With great power comes great responsibility and with a very atonal score comes a very difficult evening out. From the announcement before the show that bass-baritone Pavlo Hunka was battling laryngitis but would still perform, we had confirmation we were going to be traveling a fair distance. With no intermission due to the brevity of the piece, we, Deborah and I, submitted to our fate as prisoners of the arts. Luckily, we had sated ourselves pre-show at Springrolls which was tasty.

The set and costume designer Michael Levine did a bang up job. I think some of the office window sets may have been left over from the terrible job he did on Gotterdamerung's sets but they worked here. The only other nice thing I can say is that the image of the solitary child playing at the end was very arresting. Could we not have just started with that, made a brief announcement that although 15 near incomprehensible scenes had been planned, it just made more sense to say that it all ends badly?

The libretto made no more sense even following along with the Surtitles. This lovely and necessary innovation which is now used worldwide was created and promoted by former director of the opera company Lofti Mansouri who directed last night's enchantment. It was prescient of him to know I'd be coming and wanting to read along but just rude of him to subject me to this.

Question: How can 90 minutes seem longer than 5 1/2 hours? Answer: Guess.

6 comments:

Reese said...

yo Dale - I had a good chuckle today when I noticed that you edited your blogger profile and took out the "stop trying to pin me down!" part. I edit my profile sometimes when I get bored with it, but are you saying that it's now okay to pin you down? What the hell, lol. It occurred to me the other day when I labelled you "indie" that I was, in fact, pinning you down, and I expected to catch some hell for that.

See you, guy. Take care

Dale said...

Now that's funny Reese. I was actually having trouble adding 'don't pin me down' to my music tastes in the profile but couldn't for some reason. I threw it up (you know what I mean) in the profile for a bit and then worked some bugs out and put it where I meant to.

Some days I don't mind being pinned down but there's got to be kissing or a promise of dinner or something!

And now, for exposing me for the feeb that I am, I will quietly plot my revenge. Right after I read your post again on how to do that.

Reese said...

Well, you've already broken the cardinal rule, which is DON'T TELL ANYONE. You Amatuer!! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

Later, guy

Dale said...

D'oh!

justacoolcat said...

Not a fan of Surtitled Libretto or modern opera, and I'll take my German Opera written by Mozart.

Dale said...

I'll take a little Mozart too but I do like the surtitles occasionally so I can keep my finger on the page.