Monthly blog archive

About dramma per musica


Robert Kingston


Where to begin? My name is Bob Kingston. I’m a librarian, free-lance musicologist, pre-concert lecturer, and self-professed opera fanatic living in Portland, Oregon. My operatic tastes are pretty eclectic, though I’m not a huge fan of French grand opera (who is?) and Gluck’s appeal totally escapes me. Radical or updated stagings don’t bother me in the least, as long as they succeed in bringing out aspects of the drama that I hadn’t noticed before. I’d rather watch something that generates a strong reaction–negative or positive–than sit through yet another thunderously dull production of Carmen or Rigoletto. I love collecting historic vocal recordings, and I often use examples of these in my classes and presentations. So, don’t be surprised if I post a clip of some obscure Russian tenor or Italian baritone from time to time.

“i am a musician”

“I cannot write in verse, for I am no poet. I cannot arrange the parts of speech with such art as to produce effects of light and shade, for I am no painter. Even by signs and gestures I cannot express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer. But I can do so by means of sounds, for I am a musician.” Wolfgang Mozart, letter to his father (Mannheim, 8 November, 1777)


Tourandot / a Jackson Pollock

Portland Opera has lost its reputation for quality.
The director clearly never read the lyrics of the arias because the body language of the singers and action on stage were not relative to the passion of the music; a great disconnect.
A musical masterpiece was turned into a Jackson Pollock travesty, a poor farce..
The leading Soprano dressed & 'coiffured' like 'Eva Peron', the leading Tenor laying on the floor in a horizontal position looking like a beached whale, immobile, stattic
All the passion of the magnificent music was squashed into obscure anger.
This was by far the worst interpretation by a director in my 60 year history in and around Opera houses from La Scala to the Met.
The director should consider a different occupation........
Not even the singers liked this screaming egoist!!