More “oy vey” than “¡Olé!”

First a disclaimer, I’m not a huge Massenet fan and even among his works Don Quichotte would rate pretty low with its cheesy melodies and faux Spanoiserie.  However, a good production has the potential to liven it up and a stellar cast is always a plus.  The run that opened at the Canadian Opera Company last night certainly had the latter in Ferruccio Furlanetto, Quinn Kelsey and Anita Rachvelishvili.  Unfortunately Linda Brovsky’s production looked and felt like one of Mr. Peter Gelb’s attempts to get the Broadway audience into the Met.  It was cluttered, unfocussed, pretty much devoid of ideas and didn’t even really make best use of the acting talents of the principals though Rashvelishvili did her best to inject some life into it.  It’s exactly what I feared when I heard they were going to use a real horse and donkey (later replaced by a mule in one of the more recent of the season’s casting problems at COC).  For me, one of those productions almost best listened to with eyes closed.

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