I’d like to point you to this conversational “review” of Renee Fleming’s Dark Hope over at The Awl. It talks about Renee Fleming’s status in the opera world, the cautious reviews of the pop album, and whether this is a thinly-veiled attempt at “outreach” (but to whom?)
Zack: Yes! I still think that younger, cool, hip audiences can like ‘Traviata’ as well as ‘The Nose.’ but they have to be shown that ‘Traviata’ is as powerful, as affecting. There’s so much… stuff that builds up around these pieces
Seth: Oh, don’t “stuff” me. Tell me all about the plaque that’s really building up alongside traditional rep’s gumline. Creating all kinds of terrible gingivitis.
Zack: I mean, I think a lot of operas are taken for granted. And not really thought about even when they’re given a new production. Like, the new Met ‘Carmen’ was screaming “BOLD THEATRICALITY”, but then it had a lot of the same tired shit.