Cher Public

Food of the gods

“Treat yourself to the beauty and pageantry that is grand opera at the Metropolitan Opera. Enjoy a luxury experience with a performance of The Enchanted Island…. Includes: 1 glass of champagne or non-alcoholic beverage, and voucher for 1 gourmet brownie dessert and 1 hot beverage” [Amazon Local]

  • Clita del Toro

    I’d rather vomit.

    • Regina delle fate

      Is it THAT bad?

  • On the other hand, you get to see the opera for the regular cost of a sandwich and an Orangina.

    • operaassport

      I’d need a lot of liquor to sit through that again. A lot.

      • Grane

        Enchanted Island Beverages
        From the bathing machine came a din
        As of jollification within;
        It was heard far and wide,
        And the incoming tide
        Had a definite flavour of gin.
        --Edward Gorey

  • Grane

    You get the glass of champagne but only a “voucher” for the other stuff? What, you have to claim the brownie & hot beverage at a future performance?

  • Camille

    Lolol!! Is Neptune going to throw his spear at the brownie?
    I’d have thought he would have preferred one of those ridiculously overpriced salmon sandwiches…….

    • Ilka Saro

      Hey. Those salmon sandwiches got me through the Ring!

      Thought I admit, if I can, before I see Wagner I usually grab a falafel at Maoz just up the street. More sustaining.

      • Regina delle fate

        I love the Met’s salmon sandwiches. Along with Heisse Himbeeren auf Vanilleis at FM’s beloved Nationaltheater, they are one of the great ancilliary treats of a visit to NYC/München! :)

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • redbear

    Gormet brownie? An oxymoron?

    • Bill

      Well, there was no free champagne at last night’s
      Fledermaus and maybe it would have helped. The combination of an ice storm outside and an empty house inside and a very flat second act caused many of those who were there in a rather empty opera house to flee by the end of the second act. I think one could find more natural joie de vivre in any performance of Fledermaus in a modest production of the operetta in Temesvar, Kolozsvar or even in Miskolc. The new translation did not impress, but the wonderful second act seemed to fall flat -- there was a different conductor, Psul Nadler, whose energy for the work vanished after the first act (Adam Fischer indisposed). The singing was reasonable
      though Susanna Philips passed on a couple of high notes and her “Magyar” accent as the Hungarian Countess consisted only of a couple of rolled “r”s --
      utternly charmless. Anthony Roth Costanzo, the Orlofsky, was a miscast pest flitting about with a voice totally unsuited to the role. The ballet in he second act was wooden and poorly choreographed. Danny Burnstein’s silly jokes sank like quicksand into the into the depths -- nothing worse than a comedian trying ever so hard hard with lame material and an audience which did not seem to be enjoying itself very much. The old Bing production with Patrice Munsel was ever so much more brilliant -- the Schenk production a classic, though somewhat faded as years went by -- with an audience as flat as a bottle of champagne left open for weeks, it was as dreary a Fledermaus as I have ever seen -- even the glorious Bruderlein chorus seemed to be a dirge.
      Very limited applause at the end -- where was the sparkle ?

      Rusalka, seen twice, fared better -- the orchestra
      playing with loving care was rich in its sonorities.
      The production does not offend (at Tuesday’s
      performance there was applause for the scenery and even for the little wood animal’s prancing about in Jezibaba’s incantations. Fleming’s voice has indeed diminished somewhat in volume and her highest notes were not as fresh as of yore. She seemed stilted and just watching the naturalness of the 3 Wood Sprites in facial reaction drew an unfavorable comparison with Fleming’s very studied stage movements. Still some notes emitted by Fleming were quite beautiful though her rendition of the role cannot in any way be compared with that of her predecessor, Gabriel Benackova. There was a replacement Jezibaba Tuesday for Delora Zajick (forgot the name of the replacement as the little paper announcement slipped out of my programme) who was less hefty of voice than Zajick. John Relyea, a singer who has never impressed me that much in other roles, surprised with a well sung Vodnik. Beczala sang beautifully at times but with some strain in some of the higher (louder) passages. Emily Magee belied her European reputation as a Strauss singer of note, with an edgy voice not highly equipped in the upper regions -- cannot imagine her as a magical Arabella. Reasonable but limited applause -- intermissions were dreadfully long. Still an absolute joy to be able to hear
      this wonderful opera every once in a while at the Met. And no free brownees (laced with whatever) or free glasses of Sekt are necessary to help one bask in the soulful music of such a gorgeous opera.
      necessary. All opera lovers should see it at least
      once this season at the Met.

      • If Parterre comments had to be boiled down to one phrase I’d go with “The old Bing production with Patrice Munsel was ever so much more brilliant.”

        • Pelleas

          I also like: “her rendition of the role cannot in any way be compared with that of her predecessor”

      • Regina delle fate

        Bill -- as ever, this reads like a judicious and balanced appraisal. I’ve seen Magee’s Arabella and Capriccio-Gräfin and neither suit her particularly well. I think she is better as Chrysothemis, the Kaiserin and Ariadne, although not legendary in any of them. But her Foreign Princess in Salzburg really was good -- it’s a tricky and unsympathetic role, and she is one of the best I have seen and heard. But the Salzburg Rusalka was in the Haus für Mozart rather than the Met. I suppose in the old days, she would have been a good House soprano like Hildegard Hillebrecht or Marianne Schech, rather than an international high(isn)-flyer. It will be interesting to see how her Kaiserin goes down at Covent Garden. I have a FroSch-loving friend who saw her in both Zurich and La Scala and said she was much better in Zurich…..Couldn’t agree more about Rusalka, which, happily, has become a standard rep work in Europe in recent decades. I’ve seen at least 10 different productions, four in the UK alone.

  • I dunno, I suppose it depends what’s in those brownies.

    • la vociaccia

      “Step 1: Find five grams of the rattiest, most pedestrian plant matter you can find”

    • Batty Masetto

      Aaack!! What self-respecting brownie recipe calls for oil??? Anybody knows the best brownies are made with butter. Brown butter is loverly and black butter even has its uses but beurre noir au ganja sounds like it would not even meet Rumpus Room standards.

      • Surely there are not a few vegans up your way, Batty.

        • Batty Masetto

          Oh yes, but after a steady diet of hay and mud a bit of oily chocolate probably tastes glorious to them…

    • derschatzgabber

      M. Croche, I am in awe of the breadth of your knowledge. If I were independently wealthy, I would attempt to hire you as a life coach. Since I am not wealthy, I will be content with all of the knowledge you share on parterre.

      • Many thanks for your kind words, schatzgabber -- though your praise is far in excess of my merits.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    When I used to go to Lincoln Center on a daily basis I used to laugh to see the brownies on the dirty floor at the delivery entrances of the MET and City Opera. I thought they really were not covered well enough to be germ free on the floor, but I’m sure they were yummy.

  • diva2themax

    I’ve stupidly bought the Met brownies before now I know better & pick up a treat at Starbucks or Magnolia. Those Met brownies are dry & overpriced. I only buy coffee & maybe a diet coke during intermission. The treats I always sneak in my bag. Even Duane Reade has better pastries & they’re like $1.

    • Jamie01

      The intervals are plenty long enough to walk across the street for more palatable and affordable snacks. I like the Rite Aid on Amsterdam and 70th for candy.

      • ianw2

        Last time I went (years ago) the interval was long enough that I could’ve got back on the Acela, fixed myself a snack at home, and got back in time for the curtain.

    • Krunoslav

      “Those Met brownies are dry & overpriced.”

      FIRS. In the old days, forty or fifty years back, they dried the cherries, soaked them and pickled them, and made jam of them, and…

      GAEV. Be quiet, Firs.

      FIRS. And then we’d send the dried cherries off in carts to Moscow and Kharkov. And money! And the dried cherries were soft, juicy, sweet, and nicely scented…. They knew the recipe….

      LYUBOV. What was the recipe?

      FIRS. They’ve forgotten. Rise Stevens is gone and nobody remembers.

      • manou

        FIRS should be locked up…

  • So Peter Gelb has found a way to sell rush seats and minor press seats for $150.