Saturday, January 21, 2012

Enchanted Island Again

I can't imagine what of lunatic inattention possessed me this morning, almost impelling me to pass up a second chance at the Met's rollicking pastiche performance of Enchanted Island. Now would that have been a dumb move. It was wonderful, wonderful, to begin with and this time, out of all whooping.

Which is to say I liked it fine at the Met three weeks ago, but I'd say I liked it better this time around in HD. I don't know, maybe I was coming with the flu that first time. Or perhaps more likely, the HD was enriched, enhanced, by virtue of having seen it the first time on the big stage. Or it may be that the whole shebang is so multifarious that you just can't take it all in at first glance. And the close-ups: I remember enjoying all the boy-girl action, but there is a whole range of over-the-top mugging which just doesn't make it to the second balcony. And Joyce DiDonato: girl's got just a bit of Carol Burnett in her, wouldn't you say? And Luca Pisaroni as Caliban: concealed behind all that pancake, it was easy for me to overlook just how dignified and steady he really is.

One thing that didn't work quite as well in HD: Anthony Roth Costanza, the counter-tenor as Ferdinand. He's got a fine voice and should himself remarkably well ale to command the big hall. Ironically, the closed framework of the small screen just didn't give him quite as much room to shine.

And I still think the Placido Domingo Neptune was a bit much of a muchness. He's a Mount Rushmore figure and I don't begrudge him an ounce of his acclaim. But if it had been anybody else, you would have said the comic pacing was a bit slack, and you'd wonder why after a lifetime on the stage, he's still not so great at English. No matter; he's a lovable old coot at there is so much other good stuff that you're almost grateful for a breather. 

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