Opened, and Well Opened

March 19, 2010

It’s a great pleasure to be able to say that the important spring season of the New York City Opera opened last night not only with a French operetta perfect of its kind, but with a general élan about the place that is greatly inspiriting for the many who have missed the company’s presence near the center of the city’s cultural life. The impression persists from the fall season — and is, if anything, augmented — that this company has a new lease on life.

The largely Gallic cast, and entirely Gallic flavor, of this very well-integrated mounting of L’Étoile by Emmanuel Chabrier (about whom a little more tomorrow) is very fine indeed, but to a New Yorker a special gratification must be a more residential element: the crack orchestra and a chorus that even approached the supererogatory Broadway level of choreographic gameness. For an evening of lighthearted, stylish entertainment, this show — which runs till April Fool’s Day — is a rare treat.