La Nozze di Figaro

I had the great fortune of attending Mozart’s La Nozze di Figaro at the Lincoln Center on Friday night. As Salieri declares in Milos Forman’s  film Amadeus, “Displace one note and there would be diminishment.” The climax to this opera is so beautiful that, as mentioned in a previous blog, Ragnar Kjartansson composed a  performance piece entitled Bliss devoted to it, repeating these crystalline moments repeatedly for 12 hours straight. However more than the climax, there  is the isolation and loss that the characters are forced to endure alone on the vast stage.  There is something awful and searing about an actor alone in an empty expanse, dwarfed by the backdrops, sets and space, alone, the audience staring back, waiting, judging, alone. It is primal. We are there. We think of being in that, stuck in that yawning gap. We are just like that, alone in our little seats. It’s our agoraphobia. And there is no escape.

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