Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tristan und Isolde, Live in HD

The Metropolitan Opera's current production of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde has had problems, problems, problems, problems. But today's performance, which Elaine and I were fortunate to see as a Live in HD broadcast, was a triumph in all ways — musically, visually, and emotionally. Elaine has already found a detailed review. [Update: She's now written her own.]

The Met's Live in HD might be the most remarkable experience you'll ever have in a multiplex. The broadcasts are available in sixteen countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico). For more information:

The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD

I wish that my friend Aldo Carrasco were here so that I could tell him that I've finally seen Tristan.

comments: 3

Anonymous said...

The HD show was great - with the exception of the experimenting of using many small screens/split screens - I found the swithches very distracting, adding nothing to the performances. Just because something can be done technically - doesn't mean it should be done.

Michael Leddy said...

I share your attitude — that technology makes it possible to do things, not necessary to do them. But for the most part, I liked having different views available. I thought the screen composition near the end, with Isolde in a tall, narrow rectangle, was esp. thoughtful. (The only change from the standard screen-shaped "window.")

Once or twice, with close-ups of several faces, the result looked to me too much like the title sequence from The Brady Bunch. (I'm a victim of television.)

Anonymous said...

The split-screen technique was beyond distracting. As a professional film/video editor, I thought this technique went out around 1987. I am sure the director was sincere in the attempt to add something to the production and perhaps the technique could have done so, but all I saw was reminiscent of when this was first available in the early 1980s with the "new" technology encouraging quick overuse. There's a reason you don't see much of it in feature films (the experimental "Timecode" with four stories occurring simultaneously being a rare and interesting exception), and that is that this is extremely interruptive to a narrative and you'd better have a really compelling reason to use it. For this wonderful opera, in my opinion, it was pretty much a failure, and when it first occurred, my first thought was "Brady Bunch"! It's too bad, because it almost ruined the experience for me. I breathed a sigh of relief when it was abandoned and the full screen remained, especially for the spectacular ending where Ms. Voight transcended all.