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Pay attention to the man behind the curtain

UPDATE: Here are the Met’s 2013-2014 season press release and digital brochure.

And here, cher public, is your “anchor” post where you may (and surely will) comment on the repertoire and casting of the impending stagione; and perhaps you will spare a word of praise for the accuracy of your doyenne’s deep-throated leaker?

372 comments

  • ardath_bey says:

    as usual Wagner fans are pretentious and overbearing, like his music at times. I do find Wagner’s universe of characters fascinating, his orchestral music gorgeous, but the vocal writing remains 90% atrocious. We need a breather this season, stop whining.

    Complaining about an opera season with 26 different productions of very diverse repertory just because there’s no Wagner is insanity. We just saw a new Parsifal and a complete Ring for heavens sakes, all new productions. Most opera companies around the world offer basically nothing in comparison. What other company can offer Netrebko, Fleming, Damrau, Radvanovsky, Garanca, Florez, Kauffmann, Alagna, Giordani, Beczala, Villazon and Kwiecien ALL IN ONE SEASON? What other opera company can offer the genius of Bellini in 3 different works ALL IN ONE SEASON? And etc. and etc. … get over yourselves and consider yourselves lucky for example that this woman’s finally at the MET next season:

    • oedipe says:

      What other company can offer Netrebko, Fleming, Damrau, Radvanovsky, Garanca, Florez, Kauffmann, Alagna, Giordani, Beczala, Villazon and Kwiecien ALL IN ONE SEASON?

      Well, add in a few more names from among the “crème de la crème” of today’s singers and you obtain…a season at Staatsoper Wien.

      • Bill says:

        Oedipe -- plus the Wiener Staatsoper offers
        about 52 different operas a season --
        the Met went two seasons without a single
        Richard Strauss Opera -- Vienna usually has
        at least 6 or 7 different Strauss Operas each season. Not to have a single Wagner Opera in Vienna in any one season would be unthinkable. The only singer mentioned above who is not singing in Vienna this 2012-13 season is Kwiechien -- Vienna’s 2013-4
        season is to be revealed about mid to late March.
        But we already know there is a new Fanciulla with
        Stemme and Kaufmann, a new Rusalka with
        Stoyanova and a new Lohengrin with Nylund, Norma with Gruberova in concert form, Ring Cycles, Tristan, Anna Bolena with Stoyanova and basically their full normal repertoire of over 50 operas, though not alot of modern fare. Plus you have quite a few operas at the Volksoper, a full
        schedule of operas at the Theater an der Wien,
        and of course you can make the short trip to
        Bratislava where two opera houses (same company) perform a large number of operas in repertoire as well. And Budapest in only 3 hours away.
        And Munich (also with many of the same
        singers as the Met plus the evasive Harteros) is
        not that far away either. If you journey from Vienna to Brno (2 hours) or Prague you can fill in your repertoire with a choice selection of Smetana, Janacek, Dvorak operas as well.

        • DurfortDM says:

          Bill is of course correct and Viennese advantage monumental in scope. There are some very very nice things at the Met, perhaps depending on one’s preference better than anything available in Vienna in a given season but scope and depth of seasons is quite beyond comparison. Of course the Met does hold up pretty well, to say the least, compared to most other places and it is much easier to procure actual tickets for the said Netrebkos , Kaufmanns and Garancas but for the sheer number of quality things available just at the Staatsoper, not to mention the other venues in the city and close by in central Europe there is nothing resembling a real competition.

        • Bianca Castafiore says:

          But in terms of total perf., how does Vienna compare to the Met?

      • ardath_bey says:

        okay so we have *one* opera company that surpasses the MET in repertory offerings, an easy task when the state subsidizes you. I’d put on 60 opera productions too if I got 60 million euros from the government every year, which is roughly what the Vienna State Opera gets.

        To its great credit the MET manages to do most of it on its own and on the back of donors, the state subsidy’s insignificant in comparison with Vienna. So the two companies shouldn’t even be in the same sentence as far as number of productions or the stars hired.

        • oedipe says:

          Oh, come on, the poor, poor Met! It’s one of the richest opera companies in the world, WHEREVER the money may be coming from.

    • vilbastarda says:

      Beautifully said! Peretyatko is wonderful, but talk about wrong bra, and wrong dress for the girl…

      • manou says:

        Basic undergarmentology mistake -- no bra here.

      • bassoprofundo says:

        What a fantastic voice.

        Compare to Susanna Phillips.

      • Camille says:

        oh I am SO glad someone else said it first.

        Amazing that she would allow herself to be seen onstage with such a sag.

        • bassoprofundo says:

          Why so much complaining about her bra? I didn’t mind.

          Never heard of this soprano until now, wow, what a voice she’s got. And a wondrous bosom as well.

          I claim her!

          • manou says:

            basso -- you do not read Parterre religiously enough. La Peretyatko is the next big thing.

          • bassoprofundo says:

            You know, the more I think about it, I think I remember seeing her name somewhere a few times, but I never took a listen or paid attention given that there are so many singers that are overrated on Parterre. I just assumed she was just another mediocre voice turned into a goddess by PR. But having just listened to several arias, she really does sound like the real deal.

          • Camille says:

            BP — I would wish you buona caccia but this lady is married already and to a conductor with a big stick, too. Sorry.

          • Buster says:

            I am glad she does not have to sing Fiakermilli for her Met debut anymore. Heard her once, in the Nightingale, pure, brilliant, just divine. Luckily, she will be back in La scala di seta at the Concertgebouw later this month.

          • la vociaccia says:

            Yes Basso. Peretyatko is the “real deal”, while Susanna Phillips is just another PR fraud.

            Just like how Markov is a GOD, and Quinn Kelsey is, depending on what week it is, either a “really wonderful singer” or “nothing superlative.”

          • la vociaccia says:

            I think Peretyatko has a voice like nails on a chalkboard. Nice trill, though

      • oedipe says:

        For the Puritani concert at the TCE, Peretyatko wore a superb and very clever dress: it was basically “2-dresses-in-1″, very handy in these crisis times. It was a see-through, straight cut black lace shell, worn over a long white silk undergarment; after intermission, the white undergarment was swapped for a black one. It was the talk-of-the-town: many people hadn’t realized what was going on. But maybe Paris tastes are different from Parterre ones…

        • vilbastarda says:

          Oh, I’d love to see that dress. She wore a beautiful black and white gown in Boston in October too, and usually she is quite stylish, but not in the clip above.

    • La Valkyrietta says:

      Oui, monsieur ardath_bey, she promises to deliver on the ‘I Puritani’ mad scene, I’m looking forward to her Elvira, but I consider myself not satisfied with a machine Ring, so much so that I probably will skip it this spring. After two seasons with that machine Ring, no Wagner at all? The horror! The horror!

    • luvtennis says:

      This is not very good. The top is shrill and sounds nothing like the rest of her voice. Her pitching is a sometime thing. She can’t seem to execute the coloratura without slowing down -- except at the very top. A little like Sills in that sense.

      She looks smokin in that dress though. Almost the full green JLo look.

  • Signor Bruschino says:

    I got the brochure today, and after the last couple years of very glossy color brochures announcing the season, i was kind of surprised to see the 2 color, flimsy paper brochure that i got in the mail-

    cost cutting is high priority at the met this upcoming season!

    • redbear says:

      Numbers. This season, the Met did 28 operas, next season 26. This season the HD broadcast were 12, next season 10. Oddly I counted 8 more performances than last season. Even with declining seat percentages, extra performances, even when less than full, still brings in dollars.

  • Lohenfal says:

    There have been some questions as to how the new subscription pricing is working. I have a subscription for Saturday matinees in the Grand Tier. I added up all the individual performance amounts. When I got the total, I subtracted the 10% discount for matinees. The number corresponded exactly to what they’re asking for. I can’t speak for all the individual locations and days of the week, but they’re probably following the same pattern.

    I also noticed from the chart that comes with the brochure that they appear to have reclassified some of the seats. This season, my seat was classified as Grand Tier Premium. Now, it’s been reclassified as Grand Tier Prime, as it used to be. If there’s a situation where some subscribers are paying more, that might be the reason: a change of zone.

    In my case, the savings are considerable. I was thinking of not renewing but have changed my mind. The repertory is more varied than recently, and casting fairly good. I regret the absence of Wagner, but they’re giving three Richard Strauss operas, two rarely presented in NY. They’ve also taken away the restrictions on exchanges and eliminated exchange fees. All in all, I have to give some praise to the Met for doing this backtrack on the prices, embarrassing as it must be for them. The lack of the usual press conference could be explained by this.