I’m in Paris! And I went to Otello at the Opéra Bastille with Renée Fleming and Aleksandrs Antonenko, and I wrote about it for Bachtrack. You can read it here! Surprise: La Fleming was great. Not a surprise: Marco Armiliato was boring.
One thing I didn’t mention in the review: while doing her death throes, Fleming slid off the bed and her nightgown began to head north. She managed to push it down in a relatively natural-looking way before we saw her knees. That’s some stage experience.
This was my first visit to the modern and giant Opéra Bastille, and I kind of hated it. It’s an airport with good acoustics, astonishingly cavernous and soulless. I was expecting something like the Deutsche Oper Berlin but bigger, but it is so much worse. But once the opera starts you stop noticing, and the sight lines and acoustics are excellent. And the seats are very comfortable.
The same can not be said of the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, where I saw Idomeneo last night. It is a pretty theater with, from where I was sitting, bad sight lines and problematic acoustics. More on that in a bit. The Idomeneo, not the sight lines and the acoustics, that is.