Reviews of the Metropolitan Opera's 2014-2015 production of "The Merry Widow" are available on websites for The New York Times, New York Public Radio station WQXR and the Daily News. While some aspects of the production receive praise, other parts are criticized.
Although the New York Times considers the production ornate, the overall impression is uncertainty. The Times notes a struggle between taking a new approach and honoring the classic work. The review finds the voices generally lack strength. "The Merry Widow" has a comparatively large amount of dialogue, and much of it gets swallowed up in the very large opera house. The costumes, sets and dance numbers are admired.
The WQXR review is enthusiastic about the sets but criticizes some of the vocal performances. Like the Times, WQXR notes that the projection of spoken words is often unsuccessful. Although much of the choreography is considered traditional and classic, the scene with can-can dancers is appreciated for its originality.
The Daily News believes the production is subdued, though the conductor, sets and costuming are highly commended. The first two acts move very slowly until an invigorating dance number appears. Like the other reviews, the Daily News finds fault with the Met as the venue for this production because dialogue is not clearly heard by the audience.