The Week in Entertainment
Live: Roberto Devereux at the Met, Radvanovsky completing the Donizetti-Tudor-queen hat trick with a bravura performance as Elizabeth, wonderfully accompanied by Matthew Polenzani in the title role, Elīna Garanča as Sarah Mariusz Kwiecien as Norfolk. Wonderful all the way around. Then the evening performance, Simon Boccanegra. The 'supporting' roles were Joseph Calleja, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Lianna Haroutounian, all more than competent. But the real draw here was the legendary pairing of James Levine and Plácido Domingo - all the more poignantly so as Levine has just announced that he is retiring, making this the last opera he will direct, this year anyway - he is to be back for a few next year in his emeritus position. But the audience gave him a long and warm ovation. Domingo sings Simon like a tenor, though in the baritone range, and it makes a fascinating character. (I have to say, I don't get why people say Boccanegra has a complicated plot. It doesn't. One that strains coincidence to the breaking point, perhaps, and leaves a few questions not just unanswered but unaddressed, but not complicated.)
Read: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare, which is about 1599 (the year of Hamlet, Henry V, and As You Like It). Quite coincidentally, Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, figures prominently in 1599. Also read Parts 3, 4, and 5 of The Witch Who Came In From The Cold (since they finally fixed the problems with the file for part 3); will be getting through the rest on my Kindle this week. It's a fascinating read.