Rarely during the transmission from the New York metropolitan opera to Czech cinemas rarely appears a thin audience, as last Saturday at the Světozor cinema in Prague. The program was Marnie.
It was not the exception of 35-year-old American Nico Muhly & # 39; ego, the only contemporary composer to whom Met plays two operas. He did not take a second recollection of Muhly to the model of Leos Janack, or even the irritation of this theme, celebrated in 1964. Through the film thriller of director Alfred Hitchcock.
Perhaps once the prague people understood their Mozart. But Janacek probably does not belong to them. Less than the author of the twenty-first century.
It was also a bet for more oriented Czech listeners. The author of this review admits that he does not belong to talented people who are well versed in new music after the first audition. Nevertheless, he sincerely liked to climb up to him with the standing New York audience on Saturday. We have seen an opera theater in the mutual reinforcement of music, poetry, lights, colors, architecture and movement. In some scenes and general action, as strong as David Radok and Robert Wilson showed on Czech scenes.
Music from the office
Thanks to "theoretical" preparation, ours automatically expects the influence of composer Philip Glasse & # 39; for whom Muhly once worked as an assistant and conductor for his studies. However, the first names you will use to open the curtain are Makropulos, Leoš Janáček and Karel Čapek. If the Makropulos case begins in the archives of the law firm, Marnie is the company secretary and typewriter. Librettist Nicholas Wright looked much more at the horror of Hitchcock in Winston Graham's 1965 novel, from which he was closer to the civilization of Karela Čapka.
Instead of Emilie Marta, Elen Makropulos and other women whose names start with the letters EM, one of the accountants, kleptomaniac Marnie, who worked in English in 1959, replaces names with the letters MH, employment and lover.
Marnie's banking and office environment is even more colorful and mysterious than Cape Makko theater in Makropulos. Like Karel Capek and even more Leos Janacek, the authors of Marnie leave the title character in the fog and darkness, unexplained and undiscovered up to the final curtain.
Perhaps that is why the composer Muhly surrounds his munia with four "shadows" in clothes and music similar to the outfit. Like orchestral fragments, these shadows also affect Marni's inner life. Marnie, or any other important character, does not sing anything that looks like an aria. Muhly called them short-lived monologues of "links" – claws. If you admire Janacka, you probably think that you would be more aware of Lusian genius.
The New Times Times reviewer Anthony Tommasini believes that music has rarely been the subject of psychological drama, and Muhly's feelings more than clear. "Perhaps he also withdrew, sometimes music is more accompaniment to the drama than its implementation." There is something about it.
The hero of Marnie is a cold woman who steals her employers and constantly changes her identity.
The magic of an invisible director
What else is not in the notes and words, can not catch up. This old opera truth is true almost every time, but sometimes not entirely. Maybe in New York I met in Mlle.
The rock of this production – and judging from the premieres of judges last year at the English National Theater – is the 70-year-old American director and educator Michael Mayer. Sometimes, at first glance, it looks like he hit a whip. How to lead the choir of ten equally dressed and mutually exchangeable masters to express the mood changes of the title character? Well, unless you think someone drives them. They play with gray and convulsive movements.
And what can be directed to the excellent mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, "our" known from the first transmission from Met to Czech cinemas? In the twelfth season, each role has been spread like a sloppy: Mozart and Rossini, especially the cold beauty and thief Marnie, who we think we killed our new brother until the last moment.
Sometimes the best director is the one who knows when to be silent and leave the actor.
Mark Rutland, spontaneous husband of Marnie, was introduced by the same British baritone, Christopher Maltman, who in 2015 defeated the hairdresser of Seville as Rosina and Figaro. Of course, in Marne they play not only differently, but also sing. Graceful tone will convince the conviction of the declamation. Especially in baritone it is a sacrifice for the singing ego.
All the roles in this opera are multi-faceted, but most of all it is about the younger brother Mark, Terry & # 39; ego. Muhly put him in charge of the counter-toner, a field that has just moved from history to modern opera. Iestyn Davies is a moment of regret, moments of killing. Probably a border demonstration of the expressive contratower option.
This is not a small role, all speakers repeat, but Afro-American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, like Mother Marnie, proves every second of her stage existence.
When it is said that the conductor does not exaggerate singers, he behaves like a praise. Especially when he made his debut in Met at the age of fifty-seven as Robert Spano. But he did a really sophisticated result. He is not a favorite of critics and has several Grammy Awards.