Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Monodramas" at City Opera

It is not going to be everyone's cuppa joe, but last night I went with pal Matthew Principe to "Monodramas" at New York City Opera, the new production of three one-act modernist operas. (Are you still reading?)

The three pieces have stunning female leads and are designed and directed to within an inch of their lives. One is by John Zorn, inspired by drawings of Artaud. And there's no text! None! It's crazy.

Second is the Schoenberg "Erwartung," and last is Morton Feldman's hour-long setting of eighty-five words by Samuel Beckett. There's lots of projections, mannequins in burkhas, people flying, floating silver boxes. What does it mean? No idea, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. It's an evening at the opera where everyone heads to the bar after to argue, question, scream, weep or rave.

I kept turning to Matthew and murmuring "hell YEAH" and the couple behind me were muttering "oh god when is this over," as they rattled jewelry and canes. That kind of evening. Either a little slice of delicious buttery avant-garde or a good nap ruined, take your pick. What's inarguable, though, is that George Steele has a brass set on him for producing this evening at Lincoln Center. There are three more performances.

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