Saturday, January 20, 2007

Don Giovanni at Opera Bastille

Just back from a superb production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at Opera Bastille. A friend had invited me so I didn't realize until after the performance was over that it was opening night. I love opera but am not enough of an opera scholar to make any real reviews. My humble opinion: it is a daring modern adaptation, with, I think, lots more bare flesh than Wolfgang ever imagined would be allowed to be shown on stage. Mostly brilliant contemporary metaphor, save a slightly unimaginative ending for what should be a dramatic deus ex machina finale. I didn't buy the program as it cost 10 euros. Grrr. Otherwise I could list cast names.

The performances were nothing short of spectacular, both in singing and acting. Brava and bravo!!

My coda to the event: taking the metro line 1 home afterwards was a whole new world for me. The station and subway cars, normally like a version of high-school study hall in their muted tones, were transformed. It sounded like a lively cocktail party. Groups of silk-clad middle-aged women; older folks, in twos and fours and sixes; and hip young couples were bubbling in post-opera buzz. The effervescence lasted at least as far as Louvre-Rivoli.

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