Saturday, March 25, 2017
Idomeneo at the Metropolitan Opera!
Once again our friends Ken and Linda took us to the Met-- this time to see Mozart's opera seria Idomeneo. We went last week too, to an excellent nineteenth century Romeo et Giuletta that had street fights and was easy to get into and a lot of fun. This one was far more stylized-- first performed in the 1780's. It was written to appeal to an aristocratic audience and has, especially early on, a lot of fairly static scenes: two or three people on stage together, at great distances from one another. It also has lots of long arias, lots of explication-- and the opera itself is very, very long. It was also wonderful: It took me maybe an hour before I started to slow down to meet the opera's demands. I enjoyed the enormous, scary Neptune's face that lours over everything much of the time just as Neptune's godly demands on people cause all the trouble. There's young love, rabid jealousy, a king's tragic mistake and a pretty happy ending. Fantastic chorus, a couple of wonderful duets and a great quartet--and a real breeches role: the romantic hero is sung by a woman. Without Ken and Linda, we'd never have gone to the opera at all We ate afterwards down near Penn Station at a place called Le Petit Poulet , and then caught our respective trains to Long Island and New Jersey.