Operagasm Review Rundown: Go for Joyce, Stay for Joyce
by Melissa Wimbish
Sounds like the Met’s journey to Rossini’s closet could have used a sprinkle of something. Good thing Joyce DiDonato was there to save the day … again! Check out the Operagasm Review Rundown of La donna del lago:
Wait a minute, what opera is this?: “The opera is a Scottish-Italian potboiler, full of lovestruck thanes, kilted rebels killing, cooing crowds of lasses, and a sentimental king. We’ll tolerate the silliness if that’s what it takes to generate such an exuberant geyser of music.”
Why are you hating?: “In theory, the Metropolitan Opera knows what to do with a phenomenal singer in her prime: mount a gorgeous new production of whatever she most wants to sing. I would say that you can’t go wrong, except that in this case, the Met has done its damnedest. For its first-ever performances of [this opera] the company plumped for a staging so meager that it barely exists at all. Paul Curran originally created it for the Santa Fe Opera’s outdoor house, where polychrome hills and Wagnerian sunsets can stand in for just about any mythic landscape … At the Met, instead of sky, we see a screen, where projected clouds preen in high definition while cast and chorus tread a makeshift moor studded with plug-in flowers.”
So, what’s the verdict?: “Never mind this afterthought of a production. So long as DiDonato is Elena, she could be wearing a hospital gown and singing on a totally barren stage and she would still turn La donna del lago into her own beguiling spectacle.”
La Donna del lago is at the Metropolitan Opera through March 14. Check out the full review here!