11 December 2007

Opera News

We went to Die Zauberflaute on December 10th (feeling quite ill, but couldn’t exchange the tickets on less than three days notice). C watched the children and I met the German at the Comic Opera. It was interesting, but a real disappointment. I have been trying to see The Magic Flute for years but this version was a bit of a stretch from what I had expected. It was perverse, with currents of sado-masochism and perversion evident. In addition, perhaps someone can tell me whether there should have been an undercurrent of paedophilia present in the characters of the Three Boys? For me, the last straw was that the character of the Moor was played in black-face. I understand that this may be a tradition in Germany (see St. Nicholas’ Black Peter) but I just found it too offensive, particularly since it wasn’t even mentioned in the program as being an artistic or historic choice. Ah well, the music was lovely.

Our other Opera news is The Ring of the Nibelung cycle. I had been quite disappointed to miss the cycle at the Metropolitan this year, so I was really pleased when we were extended here and I saw that we would be able to go see it at the Deutsche Opera, where I am hoping for a much more traditional setting than at the Komische Oper. It’s funny: I asked the German for the tickets as our holiday gifts to ourselves and said that we couldn’t get them until we were certain that C and her cohort of partner babysitters could cover the days. After he got the tickets, he said that he wasn’t certain why I was so concerned as it was only a few hours per evening. That concerned me, since I knew the cycle should run about 20 hours. Turns out he only looked at the time for Das Rhinegeld and didn’t notice the three other 5.5 hour productions….The strangest thing was that although the tickets were only purchasable as a set, we were not able to buy the same seats for each show or even stay in the same price category. Why wouldn’t the company sell you a set that was the same seats for all the productions?

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