Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ellen At the Opera

Last night my friend, Andrew, took me to see Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera, in New York City.  It's Verdi, so it's a rich, baroque libretto.  The set ain't bad, either. The Set and the costume design were done by Zack Brown,  in 1989, and it's not the first time I've seen this production.  With lush gilt details on their jackets, the men look as gorgeous as the females amid the columns of the Duke's palace .  The women sport  golden cages and Renaissance-inspired headpieces( that we may or may not call hats) on their hears, in rich colors that add to the glow on the stage.
Inspiring, and thus do designers dream up their next thing.  
The Georgian baritone, George Gagnidze, made his Met debut last night, so we were honored to hear this incredible voice for the first time.  Aleksandra Kurzak took the role of Gilda in hand, and lent a lyric trill to the shading of her singing that helped to reinforce the innocence of the character. Giuseppe Filianoti was her Duke of Mantua, who gave us "La Donna e Mobile" in his charming way. Since Pavarotti  was the first Duke at the Met,  Mr. Filianoti has a monumental height to climb.
Wandering between the acts, at intermission, we went into the bar on the Parterre lounge, to see the baton given to Wagner by King Ludwig of Bavaria.  (I was really hoping to run into Roberto Alagna, who had been seen in the downstairs lounge earlier).  In another case are Pavlova's dancing slippers.  Everywhere around the Met are archival photos, and memorabilia is artfully displayed in pristine cases.  The gift shop has been newly re-vamped, and is now worthy of the world-class fan base that this center of operatic talent draws.  All it needs are headpieces by Ellen Christine for their shelves, and the selection  of phantasmagoria and music would indeed be complete.  
All said and done, another wonderful evening at the Met.  

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