The raucous, kaleidoscopic intertextual mash-up of Beaumarchais, Mozart, Rossini, Strauss, and Peter Weiss is grand entertainment. It is so obsessively referential to other operas and plays that the nearly three hours of puns, parodies and lampoons might be wasted on anyone other than certified opera nerds. One might believe that William Hoffman and John Coragliano overdosed on Douglas Hofstadter’s reflection on self-reflection, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Michael Zemeckis’ Future franchise films, and von Hofmannsthal/Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
My immediate reaction to Michael Miller's commentary on the Karajan centenary [Oh no! He’s not back again, is he? - May 2, 2008] was rather choleric, but I've settled down a bit since then and can write this from a relatively balanced perspective.