What We Feel and What We Mean
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I found the experience of attending “Fasut” at the Metropolitan Opera House last week slightly puzzling. There seemed to be a distinct disconnect between opera as pure vocal expression and opera as a form of art that attempts to portray a plot or story. At the beginning of the opera, as Faust deliberates about committing suicide, and ultimately enters into a deal with the devil, the story and dialogue were fast-moving and engaging. But the singing seemed forced, second-fiddle to the theatrical drama. The same was true of other scenes, such as the announcement of Wagner’s death and the skirmish between Faust and Valentin. Yet at other times, “Faust” seemed to have grinded to a halt while the talented vocalists performed for the audience. It was hard for me to find a point in the opera where “Faust” met opera and everything came togther as a unified art form.


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