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A disturbance in the force

The scene outside the Met last night (above) and inside (after the jump).

Photo via @wagnerblog


  • 1
    Krunoslav says:

    The *very* oddest aspect of a very odd evening ( of which Anna emerged highly successful if neither ideal nor pitch-steady ( not that Gergiev made it easy for he in the Act Ii ensemble (sic) but the clear hero was Beczala) was that, around 5:30 pm, I was waiting or a friend in Richard Tucker Park when past me--all alone--walked Gergiev. He gave me a big smile ( we’ve certainly never met) and the moved on to what I- and perhaps he-- at first assumed was a beer kiosk ( a pivnoi punkt). He picked up something and then put it down and moved on. I have the object in front of me: it is a leaflet for the 9/11 Memorial Visitors Center.

  • 2
    manou says:

    Lengthy and very detailed first(?) review here:

    • 2.1
      Porgy Amor says:

      I just saw that, and the opening summary of the LGBT controversy, I’m afraid, put me off. Was there ever a petition to get Gergiev and Netrebko removed? If so, it must have been out on the fringes. Some people were asking (at times stridently, yes) for the two of them to make statements, but I didn’t think there was ever a formal movement to have anything done to them. This was certainly not part of the petition Andrew Rudin was circulating, which got the most publicity. That was directed toward Gelb and the Met, and Rudin has been quite respectful toward the two Putinites as performing artists and has even said many times that he looked forward to hearing their work in this opera. When the reviewer gets around to Rudin et al.’s request for an opening-night dedication, he writes “The petition also demanded…” with “also” being implied to mean “in addition to the firing of Netrebko and Gergiev.” The word “demanded” is also problematic. Agree or disagree, but play fair.

      Anyway, the reviewer obviously loved the performance. I listened only to the Live Stream. I thought it was…all right. By no means great, except for Beczala as Lensky. Maybe I’d feel differently had I been watching it, but I’ve heard many more impressively played and sung Onegins, from the Met and elsewhere.

    • 2.2
      Krunoslav says:

      Boy , this is by a *total* Kool-Aid drinker! Gunning for Mike Silverman’s job?

  • 3
    Liz.S says:

    I was watching the simulcast outside freezing my butt out. Strangely enough, it was not that of a big surprise. Something like this was sort of expected, considering what has been happening. Plus I still remember somebody from the 99% movement broke the house rules already (2 seasons ago, wasn’t it?)
    It happened after Coote’s interview with Gelb. When she brought up the protest, he was showing off his rainbow-coloured suspenders hidden underneath his black velvet (!) jacket with a big smile.
    Both parties needed to say what they had to say last night. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bit of a gentlemen’s agreement beforehand.

    • 3.1
      whatever says:

      Bravo to Gelb for the suspenders — who knew straight men could accessorize?!?

      Just the right touch, imho. Speaking only for myself: thank you!!!

    • 3.2
      Jamie01 says:

      Not sure about a gentlemen’s agreement, but I agree the whole thing seemed ritualized. The Met can’t be unhappy about the extra publicity. The fact that their opening night was seen as the right high profile venue for this political theater has to have them feeling rather important and relevant.

    • 3.3
      marknyc says:

      I helped organize the protest. There was no “gentleman’s agreement”. The Met would not work with us in any way -- we were not even allowed to hand out rainbow ribbons on the grounds of Lincoln Center. And they certainly did not want any disruption inside. They were completely opposed to any ideas we offered.

  • 4
    OpinionatedNeophyte says:

    Brava to the protestors!

    • 4.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Just you wait til Manou sees this.

    • 4.2
      grimoaldo says:

      Hey ON here are two singers you should know about if you do not already, they were both in the fabulous concert of Verdi’s I Masnadieri at Washington Concert Opera on Sunday --

      Tenor Russell Thomas

      Bass Solomon Howard

      Both fantastic and I am happy to have been at the concert of I masnadieri, every singer fantastic, wonderful orchestra and chorus,very high musical (and even dramatic) values, rather than the Met Onegin, which judging by the Met livestream was a rather ho-hum affair except for the letter scene, Lensky’s aria and Nebs contribution to the final scene, with raggedy ensemble, OK but nothing special soloists except for Nebs and Piotr and similarly “all right, I guess” orchestra and chorus.

      • 4.2.1
        operaassport says:

        I’m on board for Solomon Howard. Ooh la la!

          MontyNostry says:

          That’s quite a voice Mr Howard has there. Why the f**k do they run the (slightly banal) interview over the singing, though? That really gets my goat.

  • 5
    grimoaldo says:

    But the conversation in the chatroom here was literally sensational. That was the place to be, those absent really missed a revelation.

  • 6
    Talk of the Town says:

    <a href
    "; title="Tommasini's review" is out. “Gee, politics are complicated; I preferred the Carsen production; everybody sang okay I guess.”

    This line made me howl: “But the plu[m]my richness and shimmering sensuality of her voice reveal inner feelings in this young woman waiting to be tapped by a man like Onegin.

  • 7

    That wacky Superconductor blog (y’know that Paul Pelkonen guy) weighs in with his review of Onegin. .It’s all about the big loaf of bread.

    • 7.1
      Rackon says:

      The bread…and AN’s apparent “syrupy” vocal ease with “Tchaikovsky’s sacharine melodic lines”(!#$!).


  • 8
    La Valkyrietta says:

    I enjoyed the evening too, ladies in gowns restore my faith in humanity, but I am very curious to read JJ’s review. I only wish before that ensemble in the second act Gergiev would have chewed on a jalapeño. :)

  • 9
    Robert J. says:

    On the subject of Cosi, I just won tickets to the Saturday evening performance, which is very exciting. But I have never attended (or heard!) Cosi before and I need a little help. Any recommendations that you can make for a “crash course” in Cosi?

    I probably have time to listen to the whole thing only once, or perhaps twice. So it would be most helpful if you could recommend the standout arias or ensembles (the “greatest hits”) to get me started. Thanks!

    • 9.1
      Robert J. says:

      Sorry, I meant to put this in the subject about Levine!

      • 9.1.1
        Baritenor says:

        You want to listen for the Act One trio “Soave sia il vento” which you probably have heard at some point…it’s super famous. Fiordiligi’s arias are quite famous, especially the fiendishly challenging “Come Scolgio” (Her other aria, “Per Pieta”). Dorabella’s act one aria “Smanie implacabili”is beloved by conservatory-age mezzos everywhere (A collegue has derisively nicknamed it the Chicken Aria, because of the was it goes “Smanie imPLACABili”) Un Aura Amaroso is probably the best (and hardest) of the arias for tenor in the Da Ponte operas. But prioritize a listen to the Act One Finale, which is masterful and good enough to make up for the lack of Dramatic Tension in act two.

      • 9.1.2
        grimoaldo says:

        You could have a look at this review, recently published here on parterre! (haha)

      • 9.1.3
        Jamie01 says:

        The sextet Alla bella Despina is a lot of fun. Especially with Lucha Libre masks and body slams.

    • 9.2
      brunettino says:

      I think the overture is one of the best shorter works Mozart ever wrote -- I never tire of it -- and then there’s the sisters’ “Prendero quel brunettino” -- of course.

  • 10
    La Valkyrietta says:

    Baritenor gives good advice on Così, but he has not mentioned anything by Despina at all, and that is the role Bartoli likes to sing.

    I wonder how big will be the welcome back ovation for Levine tonight. I certainly desperately missed him on the Ring in the spring.

  • 11
    zinka says:

    Sept.26 Fritz Wunderlich (1930)..Left us so soon.

    Piotr adores him…but it seems he is becoming his “succesor.”

  • 12
    zinka says:

    Piotr loves Wunderlich and along with his other love, Nicolai Gedda, he is reminding us more and more of this kind of stylistic beautiful singing.
    This IS my favorite tenor…no kidding..He just melts you away!!!