16 November 2005

Tommasini Decoded

WTAW: What Tony actually wrote in his NYT review.
WTATS: What Tony appears to say.
WTRM: What Tony really meant.

WTAW: "But since Ms. O'Flynn performed without having had a stage rehearsal, it would be premature to assess the production of the Belgian director Guy Joosten and his creative team, all in their Met debuts."
WTATS: "This is my official 'out', gimme a break, people."
WTRM: "Thank Milanov I don't have to say how utterly crappy that was. But shit, does this mean I have to go back to see it again? Oh crap. Bummer."

WTAW: "By advance reports, Mr. Joosten had worked exhaustively with Ms. Dessay on her portrayal. The tenor Ramón Vargas, who sang Roméo, is a vibrant singer but a stiff actor. He often seemed ill at ease here ..."
WTATS: "Joosten, typical opera queen, ignores tenor. Poor Vargas: looked grotesque in those tights, but boy was he stiff!"
WTRM: "F*, can't figure out a way to insert 'strapping' here ('stiff' was good though). But there's hope yet ... because that Mercutio looks fine ... hmmmm ..."

WTAW: "Still, most aspects of the production are describable."
WTATS: "Some aspects of the production are just indescribable."
WTRM: "Would be fun to describe indescribable aspects, but I'm boring, so forget it."

: "(They) have given Gounod's operatic telling of Shakespeare's tragedy a historically appropriate Renaissance Italian look, though with surreal touches. The set evokes Renaissance interiors lined with elaborate wood inlay, like the studiolo from the ducal palace in Gubbio, which can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum."
WTATS: "Skip this crap, go straight to the Gubbio studiolo at the Met Museum, have Freni-Kraus in your iPod: cheaper ticket and much, much more nuance."
WTRM: "Really, it felt surreal to be touched during the opera by the hot Italian duke (my date!! LOL) showing elaborate wood."

WTAW: "Above the stage hangs an armillary sphere, a complex of orbs and globes used to teach astronomy in Renaissance Italy. Indeed, the production makes explicit the celestial metaphors that gush from the mouths of the impulsive young lovers."
WTATS: "Explicit metaphors gush big time."
WTRM: "Hope no one's yet noticed that I'm halfway through this review and all I've done so far is to call this production describable."

WTAW: "As they sing of their ecstasy, the walls of the set part to reveal milky firmaments and galaxies."
WTATS: "Big bang sex scene shook the walls and was so milky and so gooey. Meanwhile, nix that Gubbio studiolo reference; try the Big Dipper and some Uranus instead."
WTRM: "Production team was on ecstasy."

WTAW: "The celestial imagery culminates in the scene in which the secretly married young couple share their one night of wedded bliss. Against a starry expanse, Juliette's bed hovers in the air. As breezes waft through the silken white sheets that hang from its sides, the lovers rustle in each other's arms. The image produced applause and ah's from the audience."
WTATS: "Note: this is the only thing that half-worked all evening. Savor it."
WTRM: "Meanwhile, how'd they manage to float that bed????? (Which reminds me, my sling's still in the shop, been two long weeks already, I should probably give them a call.)"

WTAW: "In its Busby Berkeley-esque way, it was quite a sight, though you worried as the singers performed a long, difficult duet confined to a small bed suspended from wires."
WTATS: "Quite a sight, oh it was quite a sight; quite a production indeed!"
WTRM: "Singing while suspended: not recommended (I tried once, strap broke, that's why it's in the shop, really blows). Meanwhile, let's see how many idiots google 'Busby Berkeley' today, haha."

WTAW: "Still, it would be unfair to judge the impact of this and other long-rehearsed staging effects until Ms. Dessay returns."
WTATS: "In case you forgot."
WTRM: "Oh they'll all be f*ed bigtime if Dessay doesn't do an Isolde-cum-Tosca-cum-Lulu on Thursday."

WTAW: "Actually, Ms. O'Flynn seemed more comfortable than Mr. Vargas, who looked rattled."
WTATS: "Vargas was shorter than O'Flynn."
WTRM: "The tights! The hideous tights!"

WTAW: "The French baritone Stéphane Degout, in his Met debut, brings a hardy voice and a strapping physique to Mercutio."
WTATS: "Aha! Strapping!"
WTRM: "Aha! Strap him!"

WTAW: "The conductor Bertrand de Billy elicits an incisive yet elegant account of Gounod's richest and most sophisticated score from the orchestra and chorus."
WTATS: "If he were any more competent, his name would be in the second instead of the penultimate paragraph."
WTRM: "And if he were Jimmy Levine, he'd be the lead."

WTAW: "Ms. Dessay is scheduled to sing the second performance, tomorrow night."
WTATS: "We were told."
WTRM: "And now that Ms. O'Flynn has gotten her one stage rehearsal, that excuse will not fly tomorrow. Now let's see ... who else we can blame ..."