An angry woman with a voice for the ages: First review of MedeaUncategorized
The New York Times has yet to wake up, but a critic called Zachary is first to share his view of last’s night’s Met opening in Theatermania:
Sometimes, you just want to see your enemies weep. In that way, we can all relate to Medea, the mythical sorceress of Colchis and the protagonist (villain?) of Luigi Cherubini’s Medea, which has just opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 season in exquisite style. Of course, few of us will go as far as Medea in exacting revenge. Curses to the heavens, poisoned accessories, an extremely late-term abortion — nothing is off the table for her. And that’s what makes this opera so horrifying and watchable.
The music helps too: Cherubini’s score is a bridge between the formality of the Classical period and the unbridled passion of the Romantic. We know we’re in for a dark and stormy night …
Full review here.
Two hours (and several online reviews) later, Zachary Woolfe published his verdict in the NY Times:
The first entrance of the title character in Luigi Cherubini’s opera “Medea” is prolonged until we almost can’t take it anymore.
A snarling overture, a chorus of serving-women, a lively aria, a march, another chorus, another aria, a trio: Forty long minutes pass during which the audience knows that Medea is coming — and waits for her, and waits some more.
But when she finally shows up — the ultimate wedding crasher, arrived to take revenge on the man who betrayed her — there is little else in the rest of the opera except her. In few other works in the canon are all of the characters but one so negligible. “Norma” and “Elektra” have riches beyond their dominating protagonists; “Medea” is almost entirely Medea….
Read on here.
photo: Sondra Radvanovsky as Medea, with Matthew Polenzani as Giasone in Luigi Cherubini’s Medea (© Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera