Janos Gereben wrote:
>Robert Greenbert, in the middle of his otherwise mostly reverential
>Beethoven lecture in Herbst Theater this afternoon, brought up "Wellington's
>Victory" ("a loud bit of schlock"), and mentioned that Meyerbeer was in
>the orchestra performing the premiere, adding - perhaps gratuitously -
>"Ah, Meyerbeer: a Frenchified Andrew Lloyd Webber!" Ouch.
Outside of the very non-chronological formulation of the statement,
I wonder why anyone would be shocked at this view, one that is general
and often stated. One might have said that ALW is a modern day Meyerbeer,
Let me clarify: I myself have never listened to any complete Meyerbeer
opera. I have listened to a number of arias and duets in historical
recordings and never found one interesting enough to pull me to seek
out a complete opera. Furthermore I do have the impression from reading
and from "chat groups" that Meyerbeer did rely a bit on spectacle and
that thus a audio recording would not convey the Meyerbeer experience.
When I checked the specs on the DVD of Les Hugenots, I found that the
(German language) DVD (the only one I know of) offers a totally off-base
"production". Whereas with other operas I have never or not usually
found a DVD to improve my reaction to the work (Norma, Troyens, various
Wagner, and so forth), with Meyerbeer this might be true. Perhaps he
was more Gesamtkunstwerk-voll a theatre person that you know who.
Sincerely, Yoel L. Arbeitman