October 28, 2002
I have a hard time understanding why a person, or a group of people, would feel the need to vocalize or clap at a television set. But I don't even understand the need to clap before the music is finished at the opera just because the singing is done, as in after an aria, and so forth, and that involves live humans fairly near at hand. So it isn't surprising that I don't understand. It just seems that audiences are very absorbed in themselves, they do not forget themselves and their own part. So interested in themselves and their role as consumers. The commodifaction of art is rather depressing, but nothing new.
Last Sunday's matinee of Die Entführung aus dem Serail was much better attended than the previous Sunday. The bass role was sung this time by Friedemann Röhlig, who is a skinny young man not as well suited to the role of Osmin as Michael Eder. Röhlig lacked gravity, and made the audience laugh quite a lot, which is certainly fine, as it is a comic role. But Eder's performance was more challenging, a little tragic even. More ambiguous. Röhlig's low range was nice, but he sounded uncomfortable higher up. I'm beginning to appreciate how hard that role is, the person it was written for had an impressive range.
Regina Schörg had the beginnings of influenza, and she was even more strained than before. I believe she missed a few high notes in her aria "Marten von alle Arten", but nevertheless, she did well under the circumstances.
This time I was struck by how nice the choreography was at the very end of the opera, when the chorus is singing as the Europeans take their leave of Pasha Selim. I also noticed that Belmonte's fall after his aria in Act I, "Konstanze! dich wiederzusehen, dich!" is rather absurd. There is another silly part where they have him throw his coat, but I don't remember at what point.
I was asked if I was from Tibet while in the standing room line. I also met some nice opera coots and discussed Monteverdi and Shakespeare.