Powder Her Face at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, February 15, 2013
The New York Times, Feb. 18, 2013
New York City Opera opened its latest season with a brash, intelligent and sexy staging of English composer Thomas Adès's notorious debut opera, Powder Her Face, which struck me as a finer, deeper and more nuanced work on stage than it had previously on record.
Having missed City Opera's 2011-12 season entirely due to the company offering so few performances – four of each production seems to be the new norm, certain lackluster celebrity events aside – I was glad to catch up here, and even gladder to see the fine results the company managed to pull off despite its considerable financial woes and other concerns.
The present season's second offering, Britten's The Turn of the Screw, was just as good, maybe better. (My Time Out New York interview with Lauren Worsham, who played Flora, will be in the next post here.) Two more presentations of worthy curiosities – Rossini's Moses in Egypt and Offenbach's La Perichole – arrive in April, both at City Center in midtown Manhattan.
Much has been written about City Opera's travails and wrong moves, a lot of it warranted. But on this kind of evidence – and on a few choice whisperings about future plans – I refuse to give up hope for this diminished but still vital institution.