Friday, January 18, 2008

When time loses meaning

That's what the end of John Adams' opera Doctor Atomic is supposed to describe. What it really describes is when minutes feel like hours.

With absolutely gorgeous staging, every moment worth a photo, wonderful singers, and interesting music, I don't even know why the second act so decidedly didn't work, while the first really did. I'm forced to blame the plot arc of the libretto. Yet such is my fondness for the wonderfully earnest and funny Peter Sellars, which stems from his great talk I attended, that I can't throw too many stones.

For an eloquent, complete review, skip over to John K's blog. (John is a prof in my department who I do not know very well, to my great sorrow.) I agree with John on everything except the dancing, which I found a little boring and unsuitable choreographically with all the skipping movements. I also think I loved the closing aria of Act I, "Batter my heart," more than John did, though I agree it was a little repetitive (so was the staging).

One last thought: my old acquaintance Jim Maddalena sang the heck out of his relatively small part as the meteorologist. I tried to wait at the stage door for him but had to run to catch my train before he came out, sadly. I should have left a note.

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