* Notes *
The fifth performance of Shostakovich's The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera was last night. Wiliam Kentridge's production is utter spectacle, the absurdist whimsy suits the music and the plot. At times, the animated projections were a bit dizzying, but overall they came off very well. There were times when the singers were placed awfully far upstage, and were, as a result, difficult to hear. The Nose himself appeared as a projection and live, the choreography was sprightly and amusing.
The orchestra sounded clear under Valery Gergiev. The cast was uniformly strong as far as both acting and singing. Claudia Waite was convincingly shrewish as the barber's wife, and Erin Morley sounded especially beautiful in the scene at Kazan Cathedral. Gordon Gietz was ridiculous as one could want for the Nose, and Andrei Popov screeched hilariously as the Police Inspector. As our protagonist Kovalyov, Paulo Szot was extremely funny. One did not have to know any Russian to understand what was going on, yet pantomime was still avoided.
* Tattling *
There was some dialogue that was translated in projections that were not visible to everyone in the house and were not part of the Met titles. This caused certain members of the audience to talk. There was some applause as the orchestra played by itself in Act I Scene 6.