Sometimes we go to the opera theater because we crave -- like a clean Céline cabas or a Marchesi, porcelain-cupped caffè macchiato or a sedimenty Castello dei Rampolla -- a shot of live music, unamplified bliss to spirit us away for three hours from taxes & whorez & second-hand smoke. And sometimes we get to the theater and the sad, sixth replication of some cranked out classic with ill-fitting costumes & a time-beating tyrant doesn't really cut it.
And then there are nights like last's at Teatro alla Scala for the opening of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, thanks to Robin Ticciati's brown curls and six, shiny buttons bouncing to the tempo of his quicksilver baton, leading the orchestra through every eye-watering shade of Britten's score, cinematically-shimmering and more nuanced than Stieglitz's portraits of O'Keeffe's hands, which matched Richard Jones' Duane Hanson-esque production. Lead John Graham-Hall -- who we last saw in March 2011 for Britten's Death in Venice with the unforgettable Edward Gardner, opera's RPattz, in Tom Pye's clean production -- was commanding and grimy, true class.
Full(er) review coming this week for Grazia.it. Radio can't replicate in-house, but Rai5 will broadcast the May 24th production direct from La Scala, 7:50pm Milan time.