I went to the Metropolitan Opera with my dad today. At the cinema that is, with one of those direct live screenings which have become so popular. The opera in question was called The Nose, which is based on a famous short story by Nikolai Gogol, about a petty bureaucrat who wakes up one day to discover his nose is missing. When he goes in search of it, he discovers his nose has become an independent character and occupies a much higher rank in society than he does. It’s a completely absurd story of course, and I was intensely curious to see how the stage production would look, as the Met approached South African artist William Kentridge (click to see a video from PBS), about doing stage production, and this had been the opera of his choice. There were many graphics and animations accompanying the singers and chorus on stage, as well as a man walking around in a papier maché man-sized nose. The music score is by Shostakovich, and the production had reportedly been presented during the Met’s 2010 season to much acclaim. I can certainly see why. It was a visual feast and a completely surreal experience. Oh and the music and singing was pretty good too.