Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Queen of Spades at the Metropolitan Opera

The moon was almost full as the crowed filled the courtyard around the famous fountain at Lincoln Center last Friday night. The spring is almost here and the people are coming out into the night now that the cold has gone away for the year. The spring and Fall, in New York are the best for the weather is almost perfect, no unbearable heat of the summer and no freezing cold that the winter brings. So as is expected for the Opera the Women are in skirts and dresses and the men in nice jackets and light sweaters. The Metropolitan Opera always starts on time so getting uptown on time is a must. This night the stage was set for a production of Tchaikovsky's "Queen of Spades." The music was written by the great composer but the plot was adapted from a short story published by Alexander S. Pushkin in 1834. The story is set in the late 1700. The last years of Empress Catherine the great. This opera had its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1890. Which if fitting for Act 1 opens in a public park of the great Capitol in the Summer. The Stage opens on Hermann (Vladimir Galouzine) a dark men with a dark mind. He is walking through his world in a kind of daze as the rest of polite society are living around him. Hermann admits to the Count Tomsky (Alexey Markov) that he is in love with a girl he does not know. When the Prince, Yeletsky (Peter Mattei) enters with his new fiancee Lisa (Karita Mattila) and her grandmother The Countess, (Dolora Zajick) Hermann knows that it is Lisa he has fallen for. As the day gets late Tomsky shares the history of the Countess and how she won her fortune in Paris Decades ago with "the three cards." The countess stills keeps the secret of "the three cards" and will die at the hand of whom ever takes the information from her. The others laugh at this fairy tale but Hermann has had the seed planted in his mind. That night he begs for Lisa's love and wins affection taking her in his arms. In the second act there is a grand ball with wonderful dress and dance. Lisa has become icy toward the prince and he knows that something has happened to her feelings for him. Lisa sneaks Hermann a key for the house to use after the Countess leaves on a trip. Hermann driven by his imagination uses the key to confront the Countess and gain the secret of the Cards. This is a tale of Love, Obsession, and Madness. How will the Cards Lay? Who will escape the fate that the cards tell? Completely played out in Russian this Opera is as emotional as it sounds. Framed on the stage with a set that seem as deep as the characters. Every stage set up pulls the audience deeper into this torchered tale. Mark Thompsom has out done himself on the costumes for "Queen of Spades." The beautiful and detailed costumes feel muted and faded and bring a rich texture to the production. Tchaikovsky's music is full of the build ups and breaks downs of the cast of characters and Conductor Andris Nelson keep this ominous score together by using all the talent in his orchestra. At the Ball in Act 2 there is a play within the play where two lovers are in Cupid's hands. This is where one sees the Dance that is a staple for Operas of the time. Choreographer John Meehan gets his own story to tell in this Ballet of two lovers. The Dancers are angelic and happy and his story has a happy ending. Will the real Drama have this type of ending? Will the Cards save them or damn them? One has only one more chance to find out this Saturday in the gold room at The Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center Plaza.
Queen of Spades -
Saturday, March 26, 2011, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Friday, March 18, 2011

“Our Future Is in the Air" Black and White at the MET

In with the new and out with the old. At the turn of the century the old was horses, ships, and painters. The new was motorcars, airplanes, and photography. New and exciting machines made one generations world much, much different from the one before them. Everything was slowly changing including art. The torch was being passed to new a kind of artist. One that could tell for himself what made art. With the camera one could stop time, create a image that would last forever and only took an instant. In the 1880's handheld cameras made everyone into a photographer. It also made some photographer's into real artist. They where the first to conquer this new medium and the MET has set two exhibits together to show just how magic that time was. “Our Future Is in the Air" an "exhibition that suggests the twinned senses of exhilarating optimism and lingering dread that accompanied the dissolution of the old order." Then the MET brings out three giants of photography Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Paul Strand to go along with the World changing theme. These two together show just how important that time was in the art community.
Both are up until April 10th.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Evening Of the Arts with the L.E.S. Dance Academy

Come Down to the Lower East Side this Saturday and Sunday and enjoy New York's Art community. This is a feast for all senses with Art, Dance, & Music, with Food and Wine. Come and support the L.E.S. Dance Academy and feel uplifted by the amount of culture these young people have to share. The $10 door charge and 20% of all Art Sales go to help the Academy bring Dance to the Neighborhood for the next year. Meet NYC YouAreHere's Blogger in person at this event Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at Noon. Art is Here and you should be to.
L.E.S. Dance Academy Studio 62 Orchard St (Orchard and Grand) Second Floor!!