Cher Public

  • danpatter: I couldn’t agree more. Tucker’s voice was the first tenor voice I listened to and liked. He was on so many... 6:45 PM
  • kennedet: I could be dead wrong but I find it difficult to believe that Battle’s life will ever appear on stage, film or anywhere... 5:14 PM
  • gustave of montreal: Then BOULEVARD SOLITUDE 4:50 PM
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  • Daniel: Arquez, pardonnez-moi̷ 0; 3:33 PM
  • Daniel: It’s unfortunate to read yet another review so focused on soloists’ vocal timbre rather than the overall effect of the... 3:31 PM
  • 98rsd: Levine and the Met Chorus and Orchestra easily outclassed this effort. And the soloists were basically just okay. Any idea why... 2:41 PM
  • zinka: BOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! As we approach (Aug.28) the birthday of my favorite tenor, Richard Tucker, I think of some of the... 12:56 PM

We’ll settle that tonight!

La Cieca has been wining, dining and otherwise wooing her Met connection (pictured above) and he (or is it she?) has come across with some tidbits about upcoming seasons at Casa Gelb, detailed after the jump.

(Note: Updates to this post will be made in green.) Now, the 2014-2015 season is going to go off pretty much as predicted, except that Faust is not going to happen. Possibly a revival of Macbeth will take its place, though most likely without Anna Netrebko, whose Lady will not arrive in New York until… well, more on that later.

Anna’s also not going to sing Desdemona in the 2015-2016 opening night production of Otello, starring Alexsandrs Antonenko and Zeljko Lucic, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. No indication yet, as La Cieca’s waggish friend puts it, “which British Dame will direct.” The Russian diva will, however, appear in her customary two productions of the season, Il trovatore and Don Pasquale.  The Deborah Warner Messiah is not, in fact coming, replaced with a revival of Die Fledermaus, and Placido Domingo will extend his Met incumbency yet another year with a return engagement in Simon Boccanegra. UPDATE: The new production of Manon Lescaut will premiere this season, not next, and will feature Jonas Kaufmann and “another soprano” besides Netrebko.

Things are little more misty for 2016-2017, but the Dmitri Tcherniakov Rosenkavalier is a sure thing, with casting talk centering around Joyce DiDonato, Erin Morley and (speaking of “more farewells than Melba”) Renée Fleming.  That season also sees the long-awaited return of Guillaume Tell to the Met repertoire, a year earlier than originally projected, featuring Bryan Hymel/John Osborne, Angela Meade/Marina Rebeka and bass-baritone(s) TBA. Netrebko is featured in a revival of Onegin and a new repeat of the previous season’s Manon Lescaut.

With Tell out of the way, there’s room for another big Rossini in the 2017-2018 repertoire, which looks like it will be Semiramide with DiDonato in the title part. This presumably will be the year Netrebko’s Lady M arrives as well.

Between 2017 and 2019 plans are obviously very flexible. Stefan Herheim‘s Meistersinger is, as we know, on its way, but La Cieca’s source says the Met is “putting out feelers” for a new Lohengrin as well. Sometime (sooner rather than later) Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo will team for new productions of Roméo et Juliette and Les pêcheurs de perles (directed by Mary Zimmerman), and, later rather than sooner, Anna will do Norma.

As you see, cher public, there are lots of gaps in these prognostications, and you, cadet reporters all, are encouraged to snoop and then divulge your findings to your doyenne.


  • 21
    spiderman says:

    Schwanewilms! Get Schwanewilms for that bloody Marschallin!

    • 21.1
      Spen says:

      I’ve seen her Marschallin in Amsterdam and it wasn’t that great.

      • 21.1.1
        Feldmarschallin says:

        I saw her in Chicago at her first run and then later in Paris and thought her quite good, in fact one of the best Marschallins I have heard and I have heard quite a few including all the current ones singing the role internationally. And I would only put one on her level or maybe even slightly above Schwanewilms but she is above Fleming, Pieczonka, Denoke, Isokoski and certainly Serafin.

          spiderman says:

          Schwanewilms’ subtle, nuanced and beautiful singing is only equaled by Isokoski nowadays, while she also has tremendous acting abilities and has remarkable Stage presence!

          • MontyNostry says:

            Well, Schwanewilms was a bit of a blank on stage as Chrysothemis in London a few years ago -- but maybe that was the role or the shoddy, messy production (which I am going to have to sit through again this autumn for the sake of Mesdames Goerke, Pieczonka and Schuster and Maestro Nelssons).

  • 22
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Giovanna -Salzburg 6 Aug 2013

    They have to stop using music at events like this. The audience reads the titles, the singers read the music, all that’s needed is a priest.

  • 23
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

  • 24
    Satisfied says:

    I am asking a question I know the answer to, but I pray that I’m wrong.

    LC has the 2014/15 La Donna production to be that of John Fulljames (presumably the ROH production) but the Santa Fe press release (and other sources) has SF’s (painfully dull and very ugly/cheap-looking) production billed as a coproduction with the Met. Please tell me that the Fulljames production (no matter how poorly reviewed, I’m certain that it’s miles better than the dreadful Paul Curran production, which I have not-so-lovingly dubbed the “blue balls Donna”…you’ll understand why should you subject yourself to this wreck…) have a chance of making its way to the Met instead?

    Though both poorly reviewed, the ROC production looks comparatively more attractive.

    • 24.1
      manou says:

      The poor Donna has been mistreated by the last three productions (Paris, London and according to reports Santa Fe too). I only saw the Covent Garden production, which was cobbled together because the Paris effort was considered unacceptable. It is a misguided effort which was largely redeemed by the stellar singing, but it does have some spectacularly silly moments, which I guess could be re-thought.

      • 24.1.1
        Batty Masetto says:

        Yes, the Santa Fe Donna was gruesome. Well sung and miserably staged. Like: If you’re going to set up a hut with imaginary walls, don’t have characters walk through them. Or: If you have an artist of generous dimensions who’s supposed to be a hero, don’t costume her so she looks like a turkey with a glandular issue. Or (most of all): Whatever you do, even though it’s Scotland and you may have seen something like it in Braveheart, do not succumb to the temptation to include shirtless writhing druids painting themselves blue.

        But hey, it’s set in Scotland, everybody wears kilts, and there are lots of pretty frocks at the end (which have nothing to do with anything, but by this point who cares?). I daresay the anti-Regie contingent will adore it when it gets to the Met.

          Satisfied says:

          It would seem we share the same mind, Batty…thought the exact same throughout the entire production! One minor disagreement, however: I don’t think the anti-Regie’s will like iit. To the contrary, I felt the production was so utterly boring, it will chase away even that audience. I anticipate this production will disappoint and piss-off pretty much everyone.

          • Batty Masetto says:

            The night we attended, the giant thunderstorm had produced a big mudhole full of frogs between the opera house and the parking lot.

            On the way to the car we decided that must have been the missing Lago.

            • Satisfied says:

              That would explain a lot. Maybe it was there…and it disappeared! much like the afforementiwall in the cheap hut.

            • Feldmarschallin says:

              Batty maybe Genevieve can think of something with those frogs. I am sure she can get very creative with the right ingredients.

            • Often admonished says:

              The night we attended, the giant thunderstorm had produced a big mudhole full of frogs between the opera house and the parking lot.

              Journos mailing in their reviews.

            • Batty Masetto says:

              Fürstliche Gnaden, Genevieve already tried importing those frogs, but they refused to be killed unless they could finish their mating rituals first. After one short look at what that involved, Genevieve was so appalled that she sent them all back where they came from.

            • manou says:


          Vergin Vezzosa says:

          Oh dear, this sounds horrible. Along with the revelation of the Zimmerman Pearl Fishers, this is adding up to a pretty discouraging news night.

  • 25
    sterlingkay says:

    The most interesting bit of news here, in terms of long-term MET implications, is YNS conducting that opening night OTELLO. One would think that’d be something LEVINE would want to conduct. Seems to me given the long-term relationship that has developed between YNS and the MET
    (Gelb) that him becoming Music Director would be a good thing ASAP with LEVINE becoming Music Director Laureate (and conducting 2 or 3 productions a year— basically what his workload is this season). The whispers I hear from friends in the MET orchestra is that they love YANNICK and their money is on him or Vladimir Jurowski being the next Music Director. I guess this makes the FRAU this coming season a test run of some sort.

  • 26
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I doubt that Ildar is really right for the Boito Mefistofele

  • 27
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    This probably won’t last long:

    Another chance to see Ponnelle’s Turandot production:

    (It was based on his unrealized production of AIDA, which was to have taken place in a reproduction of the Sphynx.)

    Color print of this historic OTELLO -- McCracken, Lorengar, Fortune

    YIKES! Archival video of Sutherland Semiramide

    Jones/Bumbry AIDA (complete)

    Much clearer video of the Gobbi Zeffirelli Paris Falstaff:

    Ah, for the good old days!

    • 27.1
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      Sorry for the Copland! Here’s the Ponnelle TURANDOT:

    • 27.2
      Batty Masetto says:

      People can say what they want about McCracken’s sound, but if he was still singing like that at 61(!) he must have been doing something very right.

    • 27.3
      Often admonished says:

      Wow. As well as Jones and Bumbry in high-diva mode (Vickers sang the untelevised shows but held out for too much cash for the BBC transmission so Charles Craig stepped into his platform shoes) the big feature of that ROH Aida is the production’s wholesale use of Ricordi’s disposizione scenica published soon after the opera’s premiere. Classic Old School moves + a load of gold leaf.

      So, that show remained a fully functioning and efficient garage for many years of great/good Aida performers (and I’d love to hear Kubiak again, for one) which ROH has since been unable to duplicate. Messes by Ponelle (big mistake) Wilson (noble failure) and McVicar (unspeakable) followed.

      • 27.3.1
        Cocky Kurwenal says:

        I loved the Wilson, and find the McVicar perfectly OK as opposed to unspeakable.

          Often admonished says:

          Agree about the Wilson -- noble more than failure -- and of those three Aidas by far the most worth seeing.

          Perfectly OK? the only moments of theatrical insight in the McVicar were found in his detailed direction of the bear-ish/beefy extras. The best of the rest is a phony bloodbath. Not enough.

          • armerjacquino says:

            I really liked the McVicar production. There was a real sense of a corrupt, dangerous world about the production which made a refreshing change from all the elephant kitsch.

            And the McVicar= male nudity thing is heading for canard status. Salome is sexually charged from its first moment. Rigoletto opens with a song about promiscuity. In the vast majority of McVicar productions I’ve seen everyone keeps their clothes on, despite this queeny insistence that he’s some kind of theatrical George Platt Lynes.

            • Often admonished says:

              My comments were specific to the Aida production, but I heartily agree that McVicar=male nudity is heading for canard status.

              But someone’s got to break the news to him.

            • MontyNostry says:

              I’ve seen that McVicar Aida twice and both times found it rather dreary and (pardon the cliché) park-and-bark — apart from the overlay of violence in the Temple Scene (hardly the most dramatically crucial scene in the opera). I didn’t mind the mash-up costumes, but the scaffolding/plastic sheeting set is really ugly and more or less recycled from his Rigoletto (which I really didn’t like at all as a production). Thank God for Borodina (the first time I saw it) and Latonia Moore (the second time I saw it).

            • armerjacquino says:

              I was pretty unlucky castingwise- Carosi, rich-voiced but in trouble; Alvarez, miscast; and Cornetti, possibly the worst performance I’ve ever seen in a major role in a major house.

  • 28
    peter says:

    Will there ever be a new production of La Boheme at the Met? I was at the premiere of this production in 1981.

    • 28.1
      steveac10 says:

      Unfortunately I think this will be like the Zeff Covent Garden Tosca. It’s going to live forever. If Gelb tried to replace it the gods of several religions would likely strike him down. Act 2 is an overblown bit of gaudiness, but I particularly loathe the outer act sets which take what should be intimate moments and turn them into a scenic spectacle for no good reason and distances the most compelling moments in the opera.

  • 29
    Drelnis says:

    I’ve heard (and read on paper) that there’s going to be a Mahagonny for Levine, either 2014-15 or 15-16, has anyone heard anything about this?

  • 30
    semira mide says:

    Michael Spyres fans will be happy to know (if they don’t already) that he will be singing the role of Aureliano in Aureliano e Palmira at next summer’s Rossini Opera Festival. Guess that means he won’t be one of the tenors in Armida. But tenors can’t save Armida as we learned at the Met. Wonder who Armida will be? Stay tuned.

  • 31
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

  • 32
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Free ticket to Verona:

  • 33
    • 33.1
      damekenneth says:

      And the photo does remind me of how I’ve tended to picture Genevieve. (The man, not the dog.) Certainly looks like he has a superior sensibility.

  • 34
    kashania says:

    According to La Cieca’s latest update, it looks like Netrebko will sing Manon Lescaut after all, just not the premiere. Happy day!

    • 34.1
      scifisci says:

      Happy day indeed! I also noticed however that Mary Zimmerman is slated to direct pearl fishers? Sets by Pier 1 I assume.

      • 34.1.1
        Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        Are you kidding. They should not let that woman near any opera, let alone the delecate and wonderful Pearl Fishers. Orrore!

      • 34.1.2
        Vergin Vezzosa says:

        Double orrore! This MZ/Pecheurs news took the nice buzz I had going after watching the first act of Parsifal on PBS away in about half a second.

      • 34.1.3
        Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        The new Mary Zimmerman Pearl Fishers will be set in the Pier-1 national distribution center in west Texas. Opening chorus of Ouvriers replace Bizet’s natives as they are seen packaging imports from exotic places. All nuance will be bannished from the singing. To satisfy purists, the final trio will be a combination of the Bizet for the first verse and the Godard for the repetition. Dessay will alternate with DeNiese as Leia.

  • 35
    Vergin Vezzosa says:

    Wanted to get this in before the new Intermission thread begins. This cadet reporter compulsively snooped around various other threads at this site and reviewed other notes jotted down from various press releases and print articles and came up with the following rumored highlights of anticipated Met plans. (Yes, Vergin was born under the zodiac sign of Virgo and couldn’t control herself).

    2015-16 supposedly also includes the new McVicar Roberto Devereux with La Rad who will also do the other two Donizetti queens during the same season. The new Chereau Elektra and a Kentridge Lulu are expected then too. Revivals not already mentioned include Mefistofele (old Carson). Add my voice to those who think that Nebs in a Don Pasquale revival is nuts but who also look forward to her Trovatore Leonora.

    Last I saw, the Decker Tristan is 2016-17. I believe that the Kusej Forza from Munich is still on for ’16-17 or ’17-18. Glad to see that Tell is coming sooner rather than later and that with two casts, I can avoid Rebeka.