Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Xerxes" is an Opulent Feast for the Eyes and Ears

The Komische Opera's 2014 production of Xerxes, Händel's baroque masterpiece, is a feast for the senses. It's The Muppets and Beach Blanket Babylon meeting the 16th century. Its opulent sets, costumes, and lighting are spectacular. It's the way opera should be for the 21st century: entertaining. Using a revolving stage that quickly moves the sets and scenes, Xerxes never lags. And above all, Xerxes is very funny.

Like most operas, the story is unrealistic. But opera is really about music and fantasy, which Xerxes serves us in spades. My only complaint with this particular production was the casting of women in the two principal male roles. That's not necessarily a problem, but it creates an imbalance in the vocalizations (no countertenors), especially when all the leads have high voices.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I wish I could have gone, but I won't be in Berlin before its run is over. Oh, well. Thanks for the review.