Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Le Grand Macabre at the NY Phil

Sally and I saw Le Grand Macabre at the NY Phil on Friday night.  It was so weird!  But I liked it too.    Ligeti's opera, staged with projection of a live film, was like Samuel Becket meets Tim Burton.   Although it was completely atonal and included a bizarre use of instruments, including car horns, it was also completely fascinating.     It was sung in English and without subtitles it was sometimes hard to understand, although it wasn't completely sung through and the dialogue helped my understanding.   The costumes, by Catherine Zuber, were very cool even if wacky and a little shocking.  All of the the singers were phenomenal - Barbara Hannigan Soprano (Gepopo) , Kiera Duffy Soprano (Venus), Jennifer Black Soprano (Amanda), Renée Tatum Mezzo-soprano (Amando), Anthony Roth Costanzo Countertenor (Prince Go-Go), Melissa Parks Mezzo-soprano (Mescalina), Mark Schowalter Tenor (Piet the Pot), Eric Owens Bass-baritone (Nekrotzar), Wilbur Pauley Bass (Astradamors), Peter Tantsits Tenor (The White Minister), Joshua Bloom Baritone (The Black Minister), and Rob Besserer Atmosphericist.  I loved Anthony Roth Costanzo's performance - and I never thought I'd say that about a countertenor.


Bob said...

I saw this opera in Germany in Heidelberg. In fact, I saw it twice, I was so fascinated by it. I recall a huge ensemble appeared in the final scenes -- and they were sitting amongst the audience. They had been sitting there for at least an hour. It blew my mind.

Sarah B. Roberts said...

Bob - that sound amazing! This was only the second time Le Grand Macabre has been done in the US I think - possibly before in San Francisco. Maybe now it will be seen more. It's mesmerizing. One of the performers has been in it around 100 times and she never wants to stop.