Live from Berlin !! well, live-ish.
Yup, in Achim Freyer's new, minimalist production of Eugen Onegin for the Staatsoper which premiered tonight in front of teh Merkin, the only thing there was plenty of was panstik. And trowels, I venture.
Rolando was on stage for the whole three hours, more or less. Centre stage! Even after he died! It was that sort of show. Anyone who'd gone just to see Rolando could hardly feel short-changed.
Though it looked like the director had taken all the money for the sets and spent it on mind-bending drugs instead, it actually wasn't too bad, in a Nightmare Before Christmas sort of a way. Not distracting, not irritating, just a little silly (though inevitably it got as many boos as cheers, and even a mid-show heckler).
Rolando's Lensky pretty much pwned it, adding a vital human touch amidst the slo-mo zombie posturing of the Konzept. Rene Pape made a late bid for the top spot with his splendid Gremin, but it's hard to be noble in Mr Blobby makeup.
The path was clear for Daniel Barenboim to grab that unoccupied audience attention and make the orchestra the centre of the opera. Perhaps that was the idea all along.......?
More, much more, tomorrow..........