Der Fliegende Holländer at SFO

Le Grande Macabre

The last performance of Ligeti's Le Grande Macabre this season was this afternoon. I must admit, I only went out of force of habit, as I had attended a performance of this the previous month and was duly unimpressed. Ligeti's music is cacophonous, the libretto is absurd, and the production involved cross-dressing, spousal abuse, Venus suspended in mid-air, her nipples modestly covered with pasties.

Amando and Amanda's choreography was particularly odd, though the singers, Sara Gulgoni and Anne-Sophie Duprels had pretty voices. The White and Black politicians (John Duykers and Joshua Bloom, respectively) were amusing, readily understood as the opera is in English. Caroline Stein sang well as both Venus and Gepopo, especially the latter. Her voice is clear and cold. Her movement as Gepopo was also excellent.