Friday, May 29, 2009

Either You're in or You're in the Way

LOGAN MILLER and NOAH MILLER present Either You're in or You're in the Way
Thursday, May 28, 2009 7:30 p.m.
Books Inc. in the Marina

This event featuring the Miller brothers has been well-publicized at my local bookstore for weeks, & I became curious enough to check it out. There was a sizeable attendance of at least 30 people, many of whom had clearly already read the book & seemed to be friends of authors. As near as I could make out, several years ago these 2 plucky brothers, from rather homely beginnings, managed to write, produce, direct & act in their own autobiographical independent film. They then wrote a book about the experience, with the ungainly title Either You're in or You're in the Way.

I guess this event was not for the uninitiated, because I did not get a good sense for either their movie or their book. More fun was simply the spectacle of watching these identical twins in action. Not only do they look very much alike, but they really did finish each other's sentences. They made good on their claim to share everything by drinking from a single glass of water which they passed back & forth during the talk. Even for twins, I would imagine that Logan & Noah are unusually close. I felt that I was witnessing a very rare & enviable closeness.

Their film Touching Home will be screened at AT&T Park on Saturday, June 6th at an event called Bookstock.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Michelle DeYoung Sings Berg

MTT conducts Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
San Francisco Symphony
Wed, May 27, 2009 7:00pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Michael Tilson Thomas

Michelle DeYoung

Rosamunde Overture

Seven Early Songs

Symphony No.8 in B minor, Unfinished

Three Pieces for Orchestra

I didn't understand the pairing of Schubert & Berg on this program, but I did want to hear Michelle DeYoung do the Seven Early Songs, especially as I recently missed out on Kožená's version. The Rosamunde Overture made for a light start. Ensemble was a bit loose, as was the general direction of the interpretation. There was nothing indecisive about DeYoung, however. She gave a big, brawny, operatic performance that made me immediately want to hear her sing Fricka. Her strong, substantial voice seems to come from someplace below her feet. She's also impressively tall, & looked like she was going to hit her head on the stage door when she exited.

The Unfinished felt held-back & flattened, but it was worth it to hear the even & controlled woodwind solos by Carey Bell (clarinet), William Bennett (oboe) & Tim Day (flute) in the 2nd movement. For some reason these principals were absent from the 1st half, & it made a big difference to hear them now.

By this time I thought we were going to get away without hearing MTT talk, but just before the final Three Pieces for Orchestra, he picked up a microphone & gave a lengthy & detailed synopsis of the work, as he did when the Symphony played it back in January. The performance was straight-forward & many orchestral details were admirably clear. MTT made the dance mood of the 2nd movement very apparent, & the final movement went swiftly.

I liked the early start time for this evening. It was still light out during the intermission, & we got out just before 9pm. This seems good for a weekday show.

There was quite a convocation of bloggers at the intermission, so this event should be well-documented. Besides the ubiquitous Opera Tattler, I saw The Ambassador & met Cedric of SFist. I was also pleased to finally meet The Civic Center, with camera around his neck, snapping pictures of the Tattler. I now know to look forward to seeing him shoot the tenor in Tosca next week.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Five Years of All Over Coffee

Five Years of All Over Coffee
Main Library, Lower Level, Jewett Gallery

I've been admiring the well-observed & detailed All Over Coffee drawings since they first started appearing in the Chronicle. I went to this exhibit hoping to get an insight into how Paul Madonna creates them. According to the video in the exhibit, he amazingly does no preliminary sketches or pencil under-drawings. It looks like he simply sits in front of the subject & out comes a perfect drawing. & the only images on display are beautiful, confidently penned, finished drawings. Still, he must be using photographs somewhere along the line, as one of the items is a photo of an actual scene. But how does he know where to start the drawing? How does he figure out the scale? How does he deal with mistakes? How long does it take? I found myself just as frustrated as ever trying to understand his process.

Oddly, it's the captions that Paul Madonna spends a lot of time collating, contemplating & reworking. His notebooks are filled largely with his attempts at writing. Sadly, this may be a case of me totally missing the point of his work. When I first started reading All Over Coffee, I quickly discovered that I couldn't make sense of the captions, so now I ignore them & just enjoy the pictures. I didn't even get the name of the comic until I heard Mr. Madonna in the video explain that everything nowadays can take place over a cup of coffee.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Andy Goldsworthy's Spire

Andy Goldsworthy's SpireAndy Goldsworthy's site-specific work has been nearby me in the Presidio since last October, but I finally got around to viewing it on Friday morning. The Spire is aptly named & made me think immediately of a church steeple. It's currently surrounded by a small clearing with a panoramic view of the Presidio & the Bay. Saplings have been planted all around it, & eventually it will hidden in a grove, but for now it stands out starkly in the landscape. It seems like a stern & mysterious visitor from another era.

Goldsworthy at the PresidioThere's a quiet visitor's center in Building 49 next to the Officers' Club, containing a small collection of related photos & sketches. It houses a couple of models of the Spire, which appear surreal in this homey setting. The work & the visitor center were funded privately by the For-Site Foundation.

I got to the Spire by hiking along the Ecology Trail from the Presidio Officers' Club to it's location near the Presidio Golf Course. It's all up hill, but even at my leisurely pace it only took 18 minutes. For the truly lazy, I suggest replacing the hike with brunch at the Presidio Cafe, followed by a very short walk to the Spire.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Enrique Chagoya at Electric Works

Super-bato saves the worldI was inspired by The Civic Center's posts to visit the Enrique Chagoya show Super-Bato Saves World at Electric Works. When I arrived at midday, the gallery was rehanging parts of the show. The busy but friendly staff apologized, but it was actually interesting to see them handling the works. The show comprises a variety of different objects & is a seemingly indiscriminate mixture of texts & images from disparate pop culture sources, though the theme of colonialism is clear enough. The works are both funny & grisly. I handled a can of Cannibull's Condensed Ponzi Chowder, & I could feel that there is indeed a thick soup inside it.

Cannibull soup cansThe gallery is a quirky place in itself, with counters & shelves filled with unexpected items. I came across a display case whimsically labeled "Owl Measuring Tapes $82". The gallery seems to have a resident dog, a small poodle-like creature wearing a shirt. He constantly paddled about the place with a preoccupied air.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Richmond Branch Library Reopening

Richmond Branch LIbrary ReopeningIt's nice to know that in this digital age a library opening can still be a big event. This afternoon a huge neighborhood crowd, standing in the hot sun, listened patiently to many speeches & awaited the public reopening of the Richmond Branch Library. I came back a few hours later to do my own inspection. The place was still abuzz with the activity. This was the branch library I most frequented as a kid, though I probably haven't been here in more than a decade. The refurbished space is bright, sterile & looks nothing like what I remember.

There are a lot of workstations reserved for getting on the Internet, but I only saw 3 computers for searching the catalog, all of which were being used. I'll say one thing for the old card catalog: I never had to wait in line to use it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Morandi; Cafe Prague

In my wanderings this afternoon, I stopped by our local Italian Cultural Institute, which is hosting a small exhibition of etchings & drawings by Giorgio Morandi. The works come from the Estorick Collection in London. I know that Morandi has a special reputation for the Italians, but he's an artist I have no experience with. The majority of the works come from between the wars & are all either landscapes or still lifes. The drawings appear to be tentative studies & not finished works at all. I thought the landscapes etched with Morandi's very fine cross hatching to be the best works. The contrast between the banality of the subjects & the artist's close observation gives them an enigmatic feeling.

Cafe Prague on Merchant St.On the other side of the block, I discovered the new location of Cafe Prague in the alley-like Merchant Street. I was very sad when I found the Pacific Street location closed, so it was nice to know that the place is still in business. The new location is airier but not as funky & Bohemian. The friendly hostess gave me a menu to take away & told me that they also have a place on Mission between 17th & 18th Streets.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today I caught Outrage, Kirby Dick's punctilious documentary about the political closet. Besides naming names, it touches much history, from Reagan's neglect of the AIDS crisis to gay marriage. It provocatively implies that mainstream media, populated with its own closet cases, is part of a conspiracy to censor the outing of politicians

An emotional highlight is former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, who speaks with a hard-won frankness. The movie ends with a poignant clip of Harvey Milk arguing for the necessity of everyone being out, & this did challenge a bit my own view that not everyone has to be out. I certainly left the theater thinking that the world of politics is a much gayer place than I thought. By coincidence, Florida governor Charlie Crist, who is profiled prominently, has today announced his run for U.S. Senate.

The movie also boasts very cool intertitles, with text that slides & clicks into focus, the way you see letters when getting your eyes tested for glasses.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Carl Th. Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
with live optical music score by
In The Nursery

Grace Cathedral
8pm Monday, May 11, 2009

I'd never seen this famous silent classic before, & Grace Cathedral turned out to be a fitting venue for both the film & In The Nursery's accompanying score. The movie, full of close-ups, unusual camera movements & abstract spaces, must have seemed strange even to its original audience. I found it unrelentingly oppressive, but it has an inevitability to it that kept my interest the whole time.

In The Nursery is basically 2 English brothers that operate a couple of laptops & electronic keyboards. I would describe their score as being ambient electronic music. It sets a somber, church-like mood & does not draw attention away from the movie. The cathedral space enhanced its already reverberant sound. Due to equipment problems, there were several times when the sound went dead for long stretches. I thought this was kind of funny because, according to our program notes, Dreyer originally intended the movie to be seen without any music.

The audience sat in sober silence long after the screen went dark & only started applauding when the house lights went up. The two brothers were so modest & low-key that they didn't seem to realize that the applause was for them, though one of them apologized for the technical glitches. They seemed to have a lot of fans in the audience, which was an interesting mix of baby-boomers & hipsters.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Faux Real

FAUX REAL with Monique Jenkinson/Fauxnique
Climate Theater

How to describe this? It's a drag queen act, but the performer is female. Call it meta-drag, perhaps. In a strange echo of last week's Met box office line, a friend & I lined up at the Climate Theater on Thursday for a chance at the 20 pay-what-you-can tickets for the sold-out show. It's an evening of intensely physical performance pieces by Monique Jenkinson, who changes into one outrageous outfit after another, lip syncs to everything from punk rock to Maria Callas, dances in every type of footwear & challenges us to tell truth from lies & the real from...well, everything is real, isn't it?

The show is a hoot, & Fauxnique keeps coming at you with one non-stop number after another. She was often panting between numbers, & I felt exhausted just watching. Her formidable dance technique really came to the fore in the 2nd half, when she did an acrobatic number in platform heels as well as a ballet number en pointe. The pieces work as both homage & subversion, & the last number, to Rufus Wainwright's "Poses", gave the show a bit of necessary thoughtfulness. The lively audience was vocal & supportive & had a great time.

If you missed Fauxnique this time, you can catch her in New York City at the New Museum at the end of the month.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Met Ring: Götterdämmerung

The Metropolitan Opera
Saturday, May 2, 2009, 6:00 pm


Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Katarina Dalayman
Gutrune: Margaret Jane Wray
Waltraute: Yvonne Naef
Siegfried: Christian Franz
Gunther: Iain Paterson
Alberich: Tom Fox
Hagen: John Tomlinson

Production: Otto Schenk

The performance got off to a gripping start with an excellent Norn scene. Levine's conducting was expansive, & each of the Norns had a weighty but distinct voice. Again, the lighting was so dim that I had no idea what was occurring on stage. Christian Franz's Siegfried sounded a bit better than the previous evening, though it was still clearly effortful. Dalayman, back from Walküre, was a warm Brünnhilde

The Gibichung scenes were brightly lit, & I felt like I could at last make out the stage. I liked that Gunther & Gutrune were not the effete wimps I have often seen in other productions. On the other hand, I thought it was silly when Hagen observed, "dich, Gutrun, ohne Mann", & Gutrune responded by sobbing into Gunther's shoulder.

Tomlinson continued to be one of my favorite singers. His Hagen was ominous, heavy & dark, & he was completely domineering in the Gibichung scenes. Hagen's Watch & the dream scene with Alberich are 2 of my favorites in the Ring, & I enjoyed Tomlinson tremendously in both. The Met chorus is terrific & their thrillingly loud entrance in Act II was stupendous & very welcome. Here Dalayman became a very emotive & sympathetic Brünnhilde. At one point the staging had her throw her robe & a crown violently at Gunther.

There had been some horn bloopers throughout the evening, but the trio of horns at the beginning of Act III was absolutely clean. Our Rheinmaidens got a laugh when they popped up like gophers through a hole in the stage. I thought that Franz managed to rally a bit for his death scene, though he often seemed short of breath. Levine took a controlled, measured pace for the funeral music, allowing it to build only slowly & deliberately. Unfortunately you could hear scraping, pounding & even shouting from behind the scrim during this scene change.

Dalayman sang the Immolation Scene with much variety of expression. She has some striking low notes & also pushed out some very big high ones. Hers was a warm & sympathetic Brünnhilde. The final moments on stage are very busy & involve a series of sets that drop into view then descend, ending with the ruins of Gibichung Hall & a couple of survivors. The audience applauded as soon as the curtain began to descend, so I did not hear the final notes. In fact, due to this phenomenon, I don't think I heard the final notes of any act of this Ring.

One of the distinct pleasure of attending a full Ring cycle is the temporary sense of community it creates. We were all quite chummy in standing room, perhaps even a bit proud. When some seats opened up in the Family Circle, one of standees declared, "I can't sit now. I need the bragging rights!" Also, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that The Opera Tattler graced our presence with delightfully high-maintenance headgear containing feathers & fresh white roses.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Met: Cenerentola

The Metropolitan Opera
Friday, May 1, 2009, 8:00 pm

La Cenerentola
Gioachino Rossini

Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Angelina: Elina Garanca
Don Ramiro: Lawrence Brownlee
Dandini: Simone Alberghini
Don Magnifico: Alessandro Corbelli
Alidoro: John Relyea

Production: Cesare Lievi

I was luckily able to attend this 1st performance of the Met's revival of Cenerentola & sit in a plush orchestra seat. The 1st thing I discovered is that The Ring is not the only opera prone to brass mishaps. There was a huge trumpet blooper right at the end of the overture that elicited murmurs around me.

This whole production is just hugely charming. Even before it starts, the stage is set with a line of shoes in front of the scrim. The characters inhabit a world of over-sized doors, furniture & props. Alidoro sprouts wings. The footmen wear suits & bowler hats like figures from a Magritte painting. Cenerentola's ball gown arrives in a wardrobe lowered to the stage on a giant hook. During the storm scene, Don Magnifico's umbrella bursts into a brilliant fire. This seems to be a concept production, only I never could figure out what the concept was.

All of the cast are wonderful in their roles, from the squabbling, slapstick sisters to John Relyea's Alidoro in multiple disguises (his #1 Fan Club would be tickled). Garanca in the title role is warm & embracing in both voice & stage presence, though she actually doesn't seem to have much to sing until the very end. Lawrence Brownlee has an amazingly high, pleasant voice. He got an extended ovation for his Act II aria in which he hit a string of very secure high notes. Corbelli is of course a great comic singer/actor, though in some ways his character is actually quite mean. There are a lot of ensembles, & the Act II sextet with its staccato theme was especially tight & in tune. The conducting of Mauizio Benini was fittingly graceful & light.

Best of all about this performance was that I could feel that the audience was completely rapt the entire evening. There was no restlessness, no coughing fits. Everyone was just too busy enjoying the show.

Cooper-Hewitt Museum

New York City, 1 May 2009

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has been on my short list of New York museum visits for years, so I was determined to see it, despite the rainy weather this day. Of course when I get there I discover that they are in the midst of major renovations, so only the 1st floor was open. Still, I was able to get a taste of the well-preserved interior of the Carnegie Mansion, & I learned more about felt than I knew there was to know.

I saw a beautiful tea ceremony rug from Mongolia that could be an illustration from Christopher Alexander's The Nature of Order. I was intrigued by Andrea Zittel's seamless felted dresses & had a nice rest under Jancie Arnold's diaphanous Palace Yurt Installation. I also had an instructional chat with a museum visitor from The Netherlands who happens to make custom clothing with felt & who knew much more than the museum guide.

Met Ring: Siegfried

The Metropolitan Opera
Thursday, April 30, 2009, 6:00 pm


Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Linda Watson
Erda: Wendy White
Siegfried: Christian Franz
Mime: Robert Brubaker
Wanderer: Albert Dohmen

Production: Otto Schenk

For me, Siegfied is the hump to get over in the Ring. It didn't help matters that right from the top I was waiting for the bear, but all I could see from my vantage point were a couple of paws that quickly disappeared. Afterward, I asked everyone I met, "Did you see the bear?"

I started having concerns for Christian Franz's Siegfried right away. He sounded weak & seemed to lack air. I wasn't at all sure he would make it through the night. He also portrayed the dumbest Siegfried I had ever seen. The ridiculous staging had Mime skipping around in glee & Siegfried giving him a high-five.

Act II was dimly lit, & it was hard to tell Alberich & the Wanderer apart. Alberich got to do some silly skipping around as well. Joseph Anderer delivered a beautiful, accurate & soft-toned horn solo, which incongruously summoned up a dragon that looked like an upside-down crab with floppy limbs. Tomlinson never appeared on stage, but he sounded like he was having fun singing oddly gratifying groans for the dragon. When the dragon died, this messy mass simply deflated. I pictured someone back stage turning a valve to let the air out.

I was very happy with everything I heard from the pit this evening. The orchestra sounded fuller & louder with each act, & the stormy opening of Act III came on with real force. In fact the orchestra covered much of Wendy White's Erda, though Dohmen's low-voiced Wanderer sailed through easily. I suppose if there was any kind of musical progression throughout this cycle, it was in the increasing prominence of the orchestra.

Franz's voice continued to weaken, & the real drama became how he was going to make it through the act. During the final scene he was losing a lot of notes, but he was clearly giving his all anyway. The orchestra blazed away spectacularly for Brünnhilde's awakening scene. Linda Watson as our 2nd Brünnhilde has a powerful voice that is a slightly edgy. There was more goofy stage business for Siegfried, such as when he waves at Brünnhilde from a distance while watching her awaken.

In standing room, there was much intentional & unintentional laughter the whole evening. That embarrassingly awkward line "Das is kein Mann!" was not translated by the Met surtitles, but the audience laughed anyway.

After the opera, I had the pleasure & privilege of meeting Out West Arts, who was wonderfully funny, well-informed & gracious, even when The Opera Tattler & I mistakenly ate his bruschetta appetizer.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Henri Cartier-Bresson

New York City, 30 April 2009

Henri Cartier-Bresson
is a favorite photographer, so he was a good excuse to visit the Edwynn Houk Gallery, a fancy 5th Avenue art gallery exhibiting some of his prints. Even though the selection is small, the great range of Cartier-Bresson's work is evident. I enjoyed discovering his sinister pictures of a Paris bicycle race from the 1950s. Perhaps it was just because I was on vacation & wandering in New York, but I studiously examined the price list & mused upon how I might re-arrange my life in order to own his image of the children playing in the rubble of Seville, Spain 1933.

Down the hall from Edwynn Houk I found the McKee Gallery. I was both entertained & disconcerted by Vlatka Horvat's interactive Birds Shelf (I) 2009. It's a row of toy birds that come to life & start chirping when you approach them.

The Strand

New York City, 29 April 2009

I'm still mourning the closing of Stacey's in San Francisco, but it is good to know that The Strand is still very much in business. Naturally I found several used books I would love to buy, but I was smart enough to limit my purchases to just one Penguin edition that cost a mere 3 bucks & would slip easily into my suitcase.

The Cloisters

New York City, 29 April 2009

The morning following that memorable Walküre performance, I visited The Cloisters. The place was not too crowded, & those enclosed courtyards & remote location really took me away from the world. & of course there are the famed Unicorn Tapestries, gory, glutted with detail & seemingly full of secret knowledge.

Met Ring: Die Walküre

The Metropolitan Opera
Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 6:30 pm

Die Walküre

Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Katarina Dalayman
Sieglinde: Adrianne Pieczonka
Fricka: Yvonne Naef
Siegmund: Plácido Domingo
Wotan: Albert Dohmen
Hunding: René Pape

Production: Otto Schenk

This was a considerable upgrade from the previous night, starting with the stunning Domingo, whose singing was vibrant, strong &, most importantly, heroic. I was completely startled by the power & emotion of his first utterance, & he maintained that level of involvement for the entire role. I had no expectation he would sound that good. His acting was equally impressive, & he moved easily & convincingly around the stage.

I found Levine & the orchestra much more interesting this evening as well, despite some unfortunate brass bloopers. The strings played vigorously & beautifully in the 1st act. It was great fun to watch the wildly swinging bow arms in the viola section when they did those arpeggios near the end of the act. Levine sometimes held the orchestra down, allowing the singers to provide us some wonderfully quiet moments, especially in the final scene between Brünnhilde & Wotan.

I continued to be confounded by the lack of directorial ideas. The rocky landscapes started to look suspiciously similar. The gray costumes & dim lighting sometimes made it hard to tell the characters apart. In Act III the Valkyries remained steadfastly earth-bound, & one of them even fell flat on her face while running downstage. Brünnhilde went to sleep under a rather scrawny tree at the side of the stage. There was a good stage spectacle in the final moments, however, as the fire surrounded the Valkyrie Rock.

The cast were all fine. The deep-voiced Dohmen remained strong throughout, & it was clear from her 1st entrance that Dalayman would be a reliable Brünnhilde. One of the lower-voiced Valkyries had an especially powerful sound, much apparent when she entered during one of the ensemble passages. In my memory, though, this night will be dominated by Domingo's fine performance, intense & warm. I left the theater feeling that if this was the best thing I heard all week, the trip was worth it.

In the following week's performance Domingo was replaced during Act I, so I may have been lucky enough to hear him in his last complete performance of this role at the Met.

Met Ring: Rheingold

The Metropolitan Opera
Monday, April 27, 2009, 8:00 pm

Das Rheingold

Conductor: James Levine
Freia: Wendy Bryn Harmer
Fricka: Yvonne Naef
Erda: Wendy White
Loge: Kim Begley
Mime: Dennis Petersen
Wotan: Albert Dohmen
Alberich: Richard Paul Fink
Fasolt: René Pape
Fafner: John Tomlinson

Production: Otto Schenk

Due to this recessionary time, I had to make this an economical trip, so I slept on a friend's floor & did this Ring in standing room at the back of the family circle. I lined up at the Met around 8:30am on Monday & had enjoyable chats with other standees. The Met box office was considerate in selling standing room tickets for complete cycles, so we did not have to repeat the box office line each day.

From standing room, I could look down on almost every player in the pit. The orchestra sound was very clear, & the balance between singers & orchestra was excellent. I never ceased to be impressed by the fact that Wagner asks for 6 harps in the pit (plus 1 off-stage) & that the Met supplies them. A couple of times each evening, I would watch the harp players march into the pit, play for a few minutes, then march out.

The cast was very even, which was true of every performance I heard. Albert Dohmen's Wotan sounded fine throughout. Wendy White was a solid-voiced Erda. I liked Richard Paul Fink's nasty Alberich. He did a long maniacal laugh as the scrim came down on Scene I & often growled like an animal. He expressed great desperation in his curse scene. I liked both giants, especially John Tomlinson's deep, resonant & mean Fafner. His was the most arresting singing of the evening.

My understanding is that this 20-year-old Schenk production is an audience favorite, but I found it bland. In takes place largely in rocky landscapes & looks dated now. The sets are a bit worn as well, & the stage is often dimly lit. Rheingold has a lot of theatrical challenges, but the directors don't seem to have come up with good solutions for any of them, & the show had many unintentionally comic moments. The dragon was a snake head on a stick. The hoard was a pile of garbage bags which Fafner claimed by easily tossing them off stage. When Fafner kills Fasolt, Fasolt falls into the wings while Fafner, still on-stage, repeatedly mimed pummeling him with his spear. It was just too ridiculous.

Levine was in the pit after missing a performance the previous week. Unexpectedly, I found his conducting to be quite slack. It was certainly not rushed, & none of the big musical moments seemed to stick out as climaxes. Some speculated that this may have been deliberate & that it is meant to lead up to something. I didn't know what to make of it, & I left the performance with doubts about the rest of the cycle.

The most impressive performance I saw that day was given by the Opera Tattler, who joined the ticket line on Monday morning straight from the red-eye, with luggage in tow. She then spent the day walking around the Upper West Side & through Central Park before standing for the entire performance of Rheingold. So stark!