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Eyes wide open

It appears that tenor Stephen Costello, whom some of you guessed was a subject of a recent blind item, is not so centrally involved in the controversy as was imagined.

In a statement sent to La Cieca, Metropolitan Opera Press Director Peter Clark declares, “Lord Percy’s Tower of London scene in Act II of Anna Bolena has been cut from this production for purely dramaturgical reasons. Stephen Costello was ready and willing to sing it.”

And now that’s all cleared up, there’s room for another mystery, and—what do you know, it’s another tenor aria landing on the cutting room floor!

(Photo: Adam Leigh-Manuell)

277 comments

  • Sanford says:

    I’m currently rehearsing for a Nozze di Figaro in which one of the producers wanted to cut La Vendetta (my big aria) and part of the Act II finale….one of the most perfect pieces of writing in all of opera. Fortunately the conductor ruled out those cuts, so all we’re cutting is some recit and Marcellina’s and Basilio’s arias.

  • Byrnham Woode says:

    ROSENKAVALIER has a number of standard cuts, all involving Ochs. Most fall in the third act -- for instance, a considerable shortening of the scene with the Police Comissioner.

    ELEKTRA has a major cut for her at the end of her scene with Klytamnestra, who also loses several phrases. The second scene with Chrysothemis is often shortened, and there is a cut that is generally taken in the Recognition Scene. I know of no uncut “live” recording. The studio recordings with Nilsson and Marton are uncut, but the ladies had to learn the restored material for the occasion.

    DIE FRAU was performed uncut at the MET in 2001-02 when Theielemann led a new production. A revival two years later restored some of the cuts that had become common..

    INTERMEZZO has a cut in the last scene that is taken even in Sawallisch’s fine recording. The opera is done so infrequently that I can’t imagine why it shouldn’t be given its full due.

    The purpose of Marcellin’as and Basilio’s arias was to reward the original singers by giving them their “moment’. If one wants top class artists in these roles, then give them their “moments”. Otherwise, cut them. They are available on many recordings.

  • Ed says:

    Might anyone believe it if I said it might be Ernani! I believe it’s the aria that was restored for Pav in his new production in the early 80′s, and has been sung ever since. Giordani sang Ernani at the Met a few years ago, and did this aria. Is he not being allowed to do it again? Surely he can do it. What about the other tenor, whose name escapes me. We shall see!

  • ardath_bey says:

    I haven’t read all 275 comments but from what I heard this weekend from someone involved, the number is back in, is that correct? Apparently it was Netrebko who demanded it, as she needs her rest before the gruesomely difficult music of the mad scene.