Reaction Weekend

The devil is in the detail

Opera review: Mefistofele. The Metropolitan Opera, New York.

BY Gerald Malone   /  23 November 2018

I wonder if Arrigo Boito was a fan of Schopenhauer? Yes, I hear you say, “I’ve often wondered that, too… but who the hell is Arrigo Boito? And is Schopenhauer that chap who played for Bayern Munich in the 60’s?”

This idle musing is prompted by someone – me – who had never heard of Arrigo Boito either, until Monday last, and who fell asleep over Schopenhauer in a philosophy lecture at the University of Glasgow in 1972.

I passed the degree exam, because, you see, falling asleep was but my conscious choice of the many options involuntarily presented to my subconscious mind – I could, if you think about it, simply have walked out – and Schopenhauer would have approved.