Elizabeth's make-up and costumes were clownish. Too much, over the top, bizarre. I think one reason the set had only open exits and entrances was that Elizabeth's extra-wide dresses could never get through a doorway. Did you know Elza van den Heever actually shaved her head for the role?! She's a brave woman, letting herself be seen looking so freakish. But none of that explains her gallumphing walk.

The opera itself was just melody after melody after melody -- it never stopped. And all of it was paired with downright ridiculous words. I know it's easy to make fun of opera libretti, but this libretto was just cornball melodrama. Enter Joyce DiDonato to the rescue: she sang every phrase with such nuance that she gave dignity to the whole production. Long sustained phrases, delicate precision...she was wonderful. I'm glad I didn't miss this.