Sunday, June 6, 2010

Proserpina - An Opera by Wolfgang Rihm Reviewed

It's always nice to get a positive review in the New York Times. Below is soprano Heather Buck and the orchestra, complete with our parlor chairs. I do believe that I got the best one, though it's hard to tell from the picture...
The Loboe served me well during this premiere performance, especially with the multitude of low note entrances.

...the evening belonged to Ms. Heather Buck [soprano], who sang beautifully in the plush melodies at the start and adapted expertly to increasing angularity and high-flying acrobatics as Proserpina’s plight grew dire. Mr. Schmoll’s spare production, with a set and modern-dress costumes designed by Marsha Ginsberg, provided Ms. Buck with a mostly blank slate, and she was equally compelling as a sheer stage presence, whether self-absorbed or interacting with the chorus and even the orchestra.
Mr. Rihm’s music ranges widely and ingeniously through contemporary styles and includes a sort of historical framing, as he seamlessly weaves in patches of music from Goethe’s era. The “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” appears in the orchestra at Proserpina’s line, “Your peaceful wandering, blessed ones,” and a bit of the Queen of the Night’s vocalizing from Mozart's “Zauberflöte” creeps into Proserpina’s rendering of “Through the night I will pursue him.”
As in the orchestral concert, Mr. Kennedy and the orchestra were superb advocates for Mr. Rihm’s imaginative music.

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