Saturday, December 03, 2005

The crutch

If, as many fear, NYCO-style acoustical "enhancement" will undermine the art of singing, have not supertitles already imperiled diction and balance? Maybe. I watched pretty much all of American Tragedy without the titles and... was able to make out quite a bit of it. Led by Graham and Gunn, the cast did pretty well in putting across at least the gist of each exchange or solo. But for one crucial lapse: Picker set, Racette sung, and Conlon accompanied the Act II opening -- Roberta's first, textually essential letter scene -- in such a way that I literally couldn't understand a word.

An unfortunate lapse, or something that just wouldn't have happened in a pre-title era? Or both. The house was selling libretti; perhaps it will come off better next time when I've read it.

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Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.