In Thursday’s (4/29) Wall Street Journal, Erica Orden writes, “In the seven months that he’s been the music director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert has made some changes. … He’s about to try his most dramatic experiment for the Philharmonic so far: fully staged operas. Beginning May 27, Mr. Gilbert will conduct a production of György Ligeti’s opera ‘Le Grand Macabre.’ The production will feature a cast of 11 costumed, soloist singers, who will act out the opera’s plot in front of the orchestra musicians, accompanied by the New York Choral Artists, a professional choral group. ‘Le Grand Macabre’ will also feature live-action animation directed by multimedia artist Doug Fitch. In Avery Fisher Hall, a screen mounted above the orchestra will display a live, direct-feed of a miniature diorama, situated on-stage, its figures and scenery manipulated by on-stage artists. … Though it hasn’t yet been announced, Mr. Gilbert is planning to bring to the Phil the first complete New York production of Olivier Messiaen’s five-hour opera ‘St. Francis of Assisi,’ which a spokesperson for the Phil described as ‘a major undertaking.’ ”

Posted April 29, 2010