Justin Davidson is a critic with New York Magazine / Vulture. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.
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"It’s not easy to negotiate the disjunction between opera speed and Hollywood pacing. In an aria, as in real life, expressing discontent to anyone who will listen is a time-consuming business. It doesn’t jibe well with an aesthetic of quick cuts and shifting perspectives. Stone deals with the problem by having the sets go slowly spinning in overlapping orbits. He also sends the characters on long walks around the stage to distract from the fact that they keep singing at length about the same ... Full Review
for a previous production "There may be a constant low-grade panic coursing through the house, but it wasn’t evident onstage, where Michael Yeargan’s slow-twirling set (slipping from gaudy castle to dank house to dive), a chorus of thuggish courtiers, Donald Holder’s nimble lighting, and that perpetually awkward stage business involving a burlap sack all clicked smoothly along. Conductor Daniele Rustioni kept the orchestra sounding effervescent and fleet, honoring that unquenchably Verdian mixture of nastiness and ent... Full Review
"In its musical exploration of a shattered spirit, Dean’s score belongs with an extravagantly theatrical mid-20th-century idiom that has never gotten much traction at the Met." Full Review
for a previous production "David McVicar’s new production amps up the gloom...What saves this five-hour night at the opera from being an unadulterated bummer is the music-making, which transforms suffering into pleasure. Verdi wrote a high-thread-count score; the sheer abundance of luxuriant tunes makes it one of the richest works in any company’s repertoire. It also contains genuine characters and relationships." Full Review
“Grand, sad, and ferociously disjointed...A 90-minute collage that, if it doesn’t rattle you into existential despair, may at least send you to consult Wikipedia to see what the whole thing’s about...’The Head and the Load’ explodes complicated history into so many urgent fragments that it feels like a frenzied dream...I don’t mind....a nonlinear artistic experience, but when it feels like I’m supposed to be digesting a historical argument at the same time, my brain goes on the fritz.” Full Review