nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

A truly special, unique, adjectival operatic experience

I went to the Live from the Met cinema broadcast of The Merry Widow yesterday evening. It was a lot of fun, being the sort of production described as ‘lavishly mounted’ on every front, and having Thomas Allen in it. But the memory that will remain most with me is perhaps not the singing, or dancing, or even the decision to shove an extra aria in the finale pulled from a different Lehar piece (WTF, suddenly she’s singing generic praise of love?), but the introduction and interval interviews presented by Joyce DiDonato, who is an American singer and a woman who never misses the chance to use an adjective.

I take back all that I have ever said about the writing advice not to use adjectives. I have found the scriptwriter who really, really needed to hear it. Every singer was introduced as “the adjective [Renee Fleming]”. In one instance before an interview she used five in a row (by that point it was so bizarrre in effect I was counting). Some of what seemed a bit weird to me was presumably expected US vs. British presentation styles*, but no one needs five adjectives in a row like that! I wonder if the singers compare what they got during subsequent performances, ranking the relative merits of being ‘radiant’ vs. ‘American’?

The Met website has tons of clips of previous broadcasts on it, which I can see is going to keep me happy for some time.

*Speaking of transatlantic style difference, I have never seen so many polo necks on an audience before.

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Tags: cinema, opera
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