Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
New York Post review of the Met's new SALOME

From all I hear, the production is Eurotrashy, but not oppressively so. The utter nonsense that the Met made of Busoni's DOKTOR FAUST with its borrowed production a couple of years ago -- that was Eurotrash. Oh, and the Graham Vick travesty of TROVATORE -- major Eurotrash. But this new SALOME, while it sounds a touch trendy (mixing costumes from different periods is very hot these days), seems pleasantly free of look-ma-I'm-directing touches. And no, a split-second of full-frontal does not count as such: if anything, it's a nod to tradition.

And Mattila sounded fantastic: everyone agrees on that.

Speedy recovery to Siegfried Jerusalem, the nearly-retired and much-beloved Heldentenor who was supposed to sing Herod but was indisposed on opening night. (Allan Glassman stepped in for him, and did fine.)

Still no word on whether costuming the five Jews as Hasidim will prove "controversial", given the blatant mockery that the opera makes out of their brief religious debate.

Edited to add: The world's best opera critic is Martin Bernheimer. Unlike me, Martin actually saw this production -- and his Eurotrash-o-meter spun out of control. His negative take is here.