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Posted at 10:23 AM ET, 05/01/2012

Links: Nabucco and more

The Washington National Opera’s new “Nabucco” got people in town talking. I’ve gotten quite a bit of mail about it, from people who really enjoyed the evening and from people who absolutely hated it. I find the response really intriguing, because I didn’t feel this was “Konzeptregie” in the slightest: the director, Thaddeus Strassberger, had an idea about the piece that he wanted to get across, and it worked in some ways and not in others, but to me it was a fairly straightforward, literal staging — certainly in comparison with Hans Neuenfels’s production of the same opera in Berlin. I shudder to imagine what might happen if one put a chorus of bees on stage at the Kennedy Center. Others, however, found Strassberger’s take an offensive imposition of a concept on an innocent opera that did nothing to deserve it.
The opu­lence of the set painting (only partly visible here) was a highlight of WNO’s new “Nabucco,” and Domingo-Cafritz young artist Soloman Howard did a great job as the High Priest of Baal. Photo by Scott Suchman. (Scott Suchman)

In any case, this is a debate where I can see both sides, as my review of the Saturday night opening perhaps demonstrates. But I think it’s encouraging that people care this much, since I’d venture to say it’s been a while since WNO has put on a production that made people care at all.

Other views: Charles T. Downey on Ionarts. Tim Smith promises a review soon in the Baltimore Sun.

What were your thoughts on “Nabucco”?

By  |  10:23 AM ET, 05/01/2012

Tags:  WNO

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