Headshot of La Cieca

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Teen spirit

Now that the Met’s 2013-2014 season has been published and almost immediately discussed to death, La Cieca thought it would be amusing to do a bit of speculation about what lies ahead as we approach the middle of the decade. An assemblage of gossip and guesswork about the 2014-2015 season follows the jump, and won’t it be fun to look back on this post next February when the official announcement is made?

The Met’s 2014-2015 season will open with a new production of Le nozze di Figaro, a production that is in a bit of flux at the moment since Anna Netrebko has elected not to add Contessa Almaviva to her stage repertoire at the moment.  As it stands now, the new Mozart  will be conducted by James Levine in a production by Michael Grandage. “Heading” the cast will be Maija Kovalevska, Marlis Petersen and Mikhail Petrenko.

Five further new productions dot the season:

The Death of Klinghoffer. Director: Tom Morris (ENO production]

Iolanta/Duke Bluebeard’s Castle. Conductor: Valery Gergiev. Director: Mariusz Trelinski. Cast includes Anna Netrebko and Alexei Tanovitski in the Tchaikovksy, with  Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko in the Bartók.

The giddy New Year’s Eve extravaganza this season will be The Merry Widow, under the capable baton of TBA. Susan Stroman directs Renée Fleming; later in the season the show returns with Susan Graham and Rodney Gilfry.

La Donna del Lago. Conductor: Michele Mariotti.  Director: John Fulljames. Joyce DiDonato, Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Florez.

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. Conducto: Fabio Luisi. Director: Bartlett Sher, with Marcelo Alvarez, Barbara Frittoli.

The repertoire will further include revivals of:

Aida with Liudmyla Monastyrska, Dmitry Belosselskiy.

Un Ballo in Maschera  with Sondra Radvanovsky, Yonghoon Lee.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

La Boheme with Maria Agresta.

Carmen with Elina Garanca/Anita Rachvelishvili, Roberto Alagna, Anita Hartig/Ailyn Perez.

Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani.

Don Carlos with Barbara Frittoli, Nadia Krasteva, Jonas Kaufmann/Yonghoon Lee, Simon Keenlyside, Ferruccio Furlanetto. Chef d’orchestre for the first-ever Met performances in the original French will be Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Don Giovanni

Ernani  with Placido Domingo as Don Carlo.

Faust with Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, Rene Pape. [This production was described to La Cieca as "hanging by a thread," with nobody involved feeling enthusiastic about the project.]

Hansel and Gretel

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Eva-Maria Westbroek, Brandon Jovanovich, Raymond Very.

Lucia di Lammermoor with Olga Peretyatko, conducted by Maurizio Benini.

Manon with Diana Damrau, Vittorio Grigolo.

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg with Emily Magee, Karen Cargill, Johan Botha, Matthew Polenzani, Bryn Terfel, conducted by James Levine.

The Rake’s Progress with Lisette Oropesa, Stephanie Blythe, Gerald Finley.

La Traviata with Marina Rebeka, Francesco Demuro.

Die Zzzzauberflote.

The cher public are naturally invited to exercise their expertise by filling in casting gaps and guessing which productions might get the axe, to be replaced (no doubt) by more reprises of Turandot.

250 comments

  • zinka says:

    SAY GOODNIGHT,GRACIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (2014-2015)
    Croft
    Frittoli
    Racette
    Michael
    Alvarez
    Hansel Production
    The Rake’s Progress (My life.)
    Domingo as a baritone
    Merry Widow without Schwarzkopf and Gedda
    The new Cav/Pag..I KNOW it will be set in Hoboken.
    Botha’s weight
    Two others but they read the Internet

    SAY HELLO:

    Met audition winners from Sunday
    Latonia Moore (Chavonne)
    Juliana di Giacomo
    Amber Wagner
    Be sure Opolais comes back
    Scotto,Zeani,Soviero,Muzio coaching Italian opera.
    STRAUSS
    CHEST
    La Cieca as Mamma Lucia (sei tu? Che vuoi???)

  • Poison Ivy says:

    If anyone still cares, after a series of exchanges with Mr. Ecker, he still doesn’t have a source for this mysterious van Dam quote, which leads me to believe that the only citation is in Mr. Ecker’s imagination.

    • Buster says:

      This is a real José van Dam quote, naming names, but saying something very different:

      JVD: Opera is the most complete, contemporary form of theatre, including both live music, and stage direction. As opposed to seventy years ago, when stage direction did not existe, all sorts of clever productions are invented nowadays by professionals from the theatre and filmworld.
      Q: Current opera directors seem to think theatre is more important than singing:
      JVD: Some directors go too far, they pull scenes out of context, en dare to replace a Russian ball by comboys wearing strings. Not even the libretto is respected. Other directors are musicians themselves, and are able to discuss the music with the conductor, which can lead to interesting thoughts. The hardest thing about being a director is coming up with someting completely new, and yet remain classical. Sometimes that works out well, as was the case with Le Nozze di Figaro by Giorgio Strehler (1980 Paris), or with the Karl-ERnst Herrmann DonGIovanni (1987, Monnaie.

      http://www.brusselnieuws.be/cultuur/basbariton-jos%C3%A9-van-dam-een-zanger-moet-ruimhartig-zijn

      • Walther von Holzhaufen says:

        Buster and Ivy, I cannot thank you enough for your posts. You’ve brought relevant “facts” to a discussion that seems to have begun with a misleading report of M. van Dam’s statement and then gone off on one or more tangents.

        WvH

      • Feldmarschallin says:

        Well we all know where the cowboys but into play but it works quite well. I do wonder if van Dam saw the production. I did and enjoyed it. The two examples he mentions are btw from 1980 and 1987. And I am very much looking forward to said director doing FroSch here this fall with or without any unnecessary comments by van Dam.

    • Operanaut says:

      From what I understand those van Dam comments come from an interview with De Morgen (Belgian newspaper) in December 2012, but it’s not available online.

      • DonCarloFanatic says:

        Apropos of complaining in general, big cities and big people don’t like to hear complaints. They expect others to either suck it up and get on with whatever, or do something to fix the situation.

        There are times in our lives when we know the tide is against us, and we’d like to present the first argument to the court of public opinion. We want to spin our image ourselves. Sometimes this works, but mostly, if we are seen to break ranks with professional behavior, it does not.

        Meanwhile, reporters constantly attempt to lure people into making revealing and damaging statements. In certain moods, even the most professional individual can give in to the temptation to reveal irritation instead of gracious acceptance. A mistake.

        And then there are the reporters who simply twist anything they can in order to create a scandal, e.g., the recent Hilary Mantel flap that, if one reads her actual speech, is clearly based on taking her words entirely out of context and twisting her meaning, too.

        Thus, I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to most of the people whose public utterances recently have made them sound like horse’s asses.

        • oedipe says:

          There are times in our lives when we know the tide is against us…
          In certain moods, even the most professional individual can give in to the temptation to reveal irritation instead of gracious acceptance. A mistake.

          What you say is very thoughtful and wise, I am sure. And the desire to “fit in” is a very respectable one, of course. But I am afraid my too-close-for-comfort familiarity with the communist system somehow makes me go ballistic when I read something like this. Because I can’t help but ask the question: after a lot of misguided attempts at controlling people, communist regimes have collapsed like houses of cards and have been replaced by…THAT? Gracious acceptance? Shut up and don’t make waves because it may get you into trouble with the powers-that-be? It’s called “professionalism”? Then I guess I’ll never “fit in”!

          • redbear says:

            On Sunday the Vienna Philharmonic, on their site, released an historical evaluation of the orchestra after the Nazi Anschluss. It is stomach-churning. The orchestra “fit in” just fine with their new leadership.

          • DonCarloFanatic says:

            Me, neither. I’m reporting what I have observed, not saying everyone should fit in and toe the line.

            Action changes things, not complaining. When the complaint is easy to characterize as petty and silly or a mere outpouring of bile, it’s seen as whining. It’s not a first strike in a campaign to improve anything. It’s free speech, but it’s careless speech being co-opted by the media to encourage page views. Other people don’t really care about what annoys you, especially if your words are taken out of context, excerpted, and generally made hash of. Since few people can control their own press, they have to control themselves or reap the consequences.

            There was a lot of criticism on this site for the singers who complained about the Freyer Ring in Los Angeles a few years ago. Not a lot of sympathy or understanding for the frustrations that had bubbled up. Quite a bit of “that isn’t done” talk here.

            Remembering that, I look at what a few opera singers have said recently and I wonder what is the advantage to the singers in talking this way? A temporary release of anger? It might amuse some people to learn that all is not lovey-dovey behind the curtain at an opera house, but the public has no need to know. When a singer talks like this, I hear doors closing. Is that really what these singers want? Wouldn’t it be better for them if they called their wives/husbands/partners/mothers and cried on their shoulders? And then returned to their work determined to change what they could and say no when they needed to?

        • kennedet says:

          All of these comments debating singers vs. directors should not be relegated to an either/ or answer but judged by individual circumstances. The fact is there are incompetent singers and directors and vice-versa.

          There is a wonderful periodical entitled Classical Singer which discussed (several months ago)whether singers would be willing to appear nude in a production. Obviously there were many pros and cons regarding the subject that made for interesting reading however it depended on the circumstances involved and you can’t give a carte blanche to the director when the singer is at his/her most vulnerable.

          I normally would be against nudity for singers but if it could be handled like Helen Hunt in the movie The Sessions where nudity was done superbly…I wouldn’t mind, but you need the correct story,actress and director to make it work professionally.

      • redbear says:

        I have written to De Morgen to see if this is true. Other stuff is online with this newspaper but that interview is not?
        What I did find is this interview quote from a Belgian paper I have heard of: La Libre from November of last year about an acting performance:
        “‘Parler, ça va ! Pour moi, un chanteur d’opéra c’est un comédien qui chante alors que les autres parlent, cela ne me pose pas trop de problèmes. Aujourd’hui avec les bons metteurs en scène d’opéra, il faut être comédien dramatique et vraiment jouer son rôle. Autant je suis timide dans la vie, si je dois faire un discours par exemple, autant quand je suis sur scène, ce n’est plus moi qui parle, c’est Orphéo.”
        Will the real Jose Van Dam please stand up?

  • zinka says:

    Met Season 2030-31

    Francesca da Rimini with Magda Olivero

    Elektra with Anna Netrebko, Diana Damrau, Rosalind Elias, and Botha as the stage.

    Rebecca with the soon-to-be-former Mrs.Alagna as Judith Anderson (staged by the elderly La Cieca)

    Salome with Rene Pape as all the Jews

    Fille with Placido as the Duchess of Krackentorp (Interpolating Nina Micheltorena’s aria from Fangulla)

    Follies with whoever on Parterre is still alive and sort-of kicking.

    • antikitschychick says:

      “Like”!!! LMAO

      • zinka says:

        Geee.Thanks…This to know……especially after my miserable day yesterday when I found out that I could not be a Jewish PAPA!!

        • antikitschychick says:

          aww, my condolences zinka..unless of course that’s some sort of joke I’m not getting :-P

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Alagna sings Don Giovanni!


    and some passaggio experiments with Goldmark

    can’t say he’s lazy about memorizing new pieces either

  • A. Poggia Turra says:

    Apologies as always if alread posted, but Arte LiveWeb how has the ORW producion of La Fanciulla del West up on its streaming page.

    The seemingly-everywhere Ms. Voigt is partnered by Carl Tanner as Dick Johnson; Gelmetti conducts. Looks like a trad production.

    Mahalo and Aloha from the Honolulu airport.

  • La Valkyrietta says:

    Heard rumor of an opera for the 2014-2015 season to be titled ‘I parterriani alla prima crociata contro regie’. Voigt as La Cieca? Van Dam as Bieito? I don’t know. I don’t believe the rumor. Composer? Glass? It is a puzzlement.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Act I


    Act 2

    Act 3

  • armerjacquino says:

    Meanwhile, this leaps out at me from the new season at CG:

    Blanche – Magdalena Kožená
    Constance – Anna Prohaska
    Madame Lidoine – Emma Bell
    Mère Marie – Sophie Koch
    Madame de Croissy – Deborah Polaski
    Marquis de la Force – Thomas Allen
    Chevalier de la Force – Yann Beuron

    Directed by Robert Carsen

    What do we know about Elena Pankratova? She’s singing the Dyer’s Wife with Magee, Schuster, Botha and Reuter. Schuster is also joining Goerke and Pieczonka for an ELEKTRA I can’t wait to see.

    • Feldmarschallin says:

      Pankratova seems to be the Färberin of Dienst next season. I believe she is also to sing some of the performances at the Nationaltheater. Serviceable is the best way to describe her just like Emily Magee. Am I the only one to get Magee and Racette mixed up. They sound the same to me.

    • stevey says:

      Hi Armer… I’ve been waiting for this weeks ‘Intermission Feature’ to come up to address your query re: Pankratova, as I’m afraid that this may just get lost in the shuffle this late in the weekly game. It still hasn’t, so I’ll just post this here and hope that you receive it.

      Pankratova is the possessor of quite a big, dark and ‘meaty’ soprano that’s certainly not unpleasant on the ear yet still manages to be of somewhat indeterminate individuality. I’ve heard her (never live, of course (alas!)) in quite a few of the tougher soprano roles and she’s always acquitted herself well, without ever managing to particularly ‘wow’ or impress. A worthy successor to Galina Kalinina, let’s say (although, of the two, I’d say that Pankratova has the bigger soprano). She’s certainly more than capable, and I don’t think she’ll detract from any ‘Frau’ performance that you might catch her in. Here’s her ‘In questa reggia’ followed by Abigaille’s cabaletta from ‘Nabucco’. Hope this helps!!

      Best regards to you! :-)

      • armerjacquino says:

        Thank you so much! She sounds interesting, actually *adds FrOSch to ever-growing list for 13-14*

  • phoenix says: