johnleiser

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Cav/Pag @ the Met

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Jose Cura has taken over both Triddu and Canio form Roberto Alanga for this run with much anticipation. He is a strong presence on stage a a wonderful voice, a little dissappointng in the Canio role, but he fills the stage with the characters he is playing. Ildiko Komlosi as Santuzza in Cav is a great fit. She has the look of the “abandoned ” woman and is arresting when she pleads with Mamma Lucia, Jane Bunnell, who looks like she is going to cook some pasta to calm everyone down and sings too, and Alfio, Alberto Mastrmarino, very real. Grand opera and can’t sound better than from The Met Orchestra, Pietro Rizzo on the stick!  with the Zeffirelli sets; the” why can’t they leave the productions alone arguments can br heard from the non fans of the new La Sonnombula”

Pagliacci is so strong that we forget because it’s always the second half. It is so like a TV show with the out sized characters and wonderful melodies and the chance for everyone to be mean spirited. Nuccia Focile as Nedda stole the show, and got a big hand, but Cura is a force and we loved him!!!!

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Das Rheingold at the Met

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2009 at 6:56 pm

The last time that this Met production  of The Ring will be done is finally here. It will be very hard to forget because it is visually striking and the first one that I saw. James’s Morris and Levine are the touchstones of the whole event. Everything changes around them and they are still here, 20 years later. James Morris IS Wotan with a changing cast that revolves around him;  Richard Peter Fink as Albberich, great, and Yvonne Naef as Fricka, ditto, and Gerhard Siegel as Mime this time around.

I love this opera more each time I see it for the layers that are revealed with the passing years and the Met orchestra is a national treasure and this is the reason why! It doesn’t look like a fairy tale, it’s too real for that, but you are lost for this two and a half hours without a break.

Into The Sunset@ MOMA

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Into The Sunset@ MOMA on Thursday night was a little bit of a disappointment. The photos of America as the country grew up along with Photography as it grew up is a good premise. It was organized thematically, landscapes, industry, people etc.,a good idea. Lots of excellent photos by all the usual suspects; Ansel Adams, Ed Rusha and , to me, new photographers;William Henry Jackson, Carleton Watkins, from the early days should be a Fab show. As it turns out it is a very good show, but with the giant collection that MOMA has and basically unlimited ability to borrow there should have been a WOW factor that was missing. There was a terrific image of Butch Cassidy, but a plain one of Hell’s Angels(looked like Hollywood to me) Maybe too many landscapes in a row or not enough Indians, photos or the annoying industry killed our west it’s hard to say.Maybe the concept was a little lost trying to say too much about “society” and not enough about Photograhy.

The party was great fun with lot’s of people and loud Music and a generally easy vibe made for a good night. Jack D. made another appearance to round out a fun time I liked the show, as you would expect, I like everything, but was hoping for a little more.

Dee Dee Bridgewater @ Zankel Hall

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm

And while we are going to different kinds of shows up pops La Diva’s HONOR! series at Carnegie hall. Haven’t heard from Dee Dee in a long time; since the Wiz?, and thought it would be fun. She did a 2 hour show with no break and a quartet to blow your head off. She started with Latin, Afro-Cuban, and moved to Mali, her “roots” trip, included Coltrane and finished with “Compared to What”. This was some show ! She is in great voice and the material is relevant, whatever that mean.

Wish there was more diversity in the audience to “proof” what her theme is. The tickets are not out of sight so I can’t figure it out. Big stars like this really need a crowd and she got one last night. Fifty-Nine years old and she didn’t let up for one second. she made references to Odetta and Nina Simone and Billy and Ella and the big band singers, she started there, and African and Latin and WOW this was some show and I’m glad to have swapped a ticket to see it.

The Allman Brother’s Show

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Going to work can be dangerous, I was at my desk innocently wasting time and chatting about March Madness, No business and Music , when Brandon told me he had been to 3 Allman concerts already and I should go too! The dog was at grandma’s ,I had no plans so I took the bus crosstown and down roadway to the Beacon. There were no tickets for sale, but as I left the box office a guy whispered:”Wanna ticket?” and in I went. The Beacon renovation is fabulous and  took my seat early with the beer that I bought to get into the mood. I was amazed at all the families. No one told me I should wear my AB outfit. Didn’t think you have to look like the to like them; oh well.

The screen behind the stage was a trip from the Filmore in 1969 complete with the magic mushroom cartoons. The boys rambled on to he stage 1/2 hour late and jumped into “Statesboro Blues”.I am always touched by the sentimental lyrics of this song: I’m goin to the country, baby do you want to go. If you can’t make it baby your sister Lucille say she want to go.” Ah poetry!!! It went on from there with John  Hammond & Bonnie ( remember Delaney& Bonnie) an Was loud and long.

I’ll repeat the conversation I had with the young man next to me in it’s entirety: “You know there is a debate that Derrick is as good as Dwayne” and I gave the correct rebuttal to end all further discussion “no” and he agreed. That being said the whole show revolved around Derrick and he is Fabulous! He never runs out of ideas and plays like crazy.

You can never go home again(Thomas Wolfe) but it is nice to visit once in a while. I went to the Bar at the break and got a JD neat to be in the right frame of mind and went back to enjoy the rest of the show and think about a long time ago and what a long strange trip it’s been; oh no that’ s the DEAD! FLash back?????

Jenny Holzer @ The Whitney

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2009 at 2:37 am

The Whitney’s new show of Jenny Holzer works opened last night with a great party. It was nice to see so many young people, they do come to museum openings it seems. The show has so many LED signs that it’s like a circus; may be that’s the point. It was a pretty display of difficult subject matter. If you don’t know her, she takes declassified government documents and presents them in neon sign for