Alex Ross of The New Yorker is to music critics what Luke Johnson is to exegetes. So when he characterizes the Metropolitan Opera’s just completed new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle as “catastrophically vapid” you somehow sense he’s not happy. He expatiates:
the most ambitious undertaking of the Peter Gelb era, Robert Lepage’s production of Wagner’s “Ring,” is a very damp squib. “Götterdämmerung,” the final installment, arrived in January, rounding out what must be considered a historic achievement. Pound for pound, ton for ton, it is the most witless and wasteful production in modern operatic history.
Nor is Ross any happier with the hapless hulk that was New York City Opera. His conclusion is, well, “dispiriting:”
This has been the most dispiriting opera season since I began reviewing music in New York, twenty years ago…Both the Met and City Opera are committing the supreme operatic sin: they are thinking small.
The whole article is available, for subscribers only, here. Any nay-sayers?