Cher Public

You’ve got to taste all the fruit

Mae WestAt the risk of contradicting Mae West (and, believe me, La Cieca sets aside a couple of hours a day to averting any such lèse-majesté!), too much of a good thing can be not so much wonderful as impossible.

The current iteration of that altogether necessary resource the Met Future Wiki currently lists a repertoire of 32(!) programs intended for the Met’s 2017-2018 season, which clearly is absurd. Your doyenne invites you to peruse the list after the jump and make such recommendations as may be necessary to bring the season down to a more manageable 27 titles. 

  1. Norma*
  2. Tosca*
  3. The Exterminating Angel*
  4. Cosi fan tutte*
  5. La Forza del Destino*
  6. Cendrillon*
  7. St Francois d’Assise*
  8. La Boheme
  9. Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci
  10. Les Contes d’Hoffmann
  11. Dialogues of the Carmelites
  12. Elektra
  13. L’elisir d’amore
  14. Falstaff
  15. Le Nozze di Figaro
  16. Hansel and Gretel
  17. I Lombardi
  18. Lucia di Lammermoor
  19. Luisa Miller
  20. Madama Butterfly
  21. Les Mamelles de Tiresias / L’Enfant et les Sortileges
  22. The Merry Widow
  23. Otello
  24. Parsifal
  25. Pelleas et Melisande
  26. Romeo et Juliette
  27. Der Rosenkavalier
  28. Semiramide
  29. Thais
  30. Il Trovatore
  31. Turandot
  32. Die Zauberflote

* = New Production

  • phillyoperalover

    Here’s my 27 I think they are going to do.

    Norma*
    Tosca*
    The Exterminating Angel*
    Cosi fan tutte*
    La Forza del Destino*
    Cendrillon*
    La Boheme
    Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci
    Les Contes d’Hoffmann
    Elektra
    L’elisir d’amore
    Falstaff
    Le Nozze di Figaro
    Hansel and Gretel
    Lucia di Lammermoor
    Luisa Miller
    Madama Butterfly
    The Merry Widow
    Otello
    Parsifal
    Romeo et Juliette
    Der Rosenkavalier
    Semiramide
    Thais
    Il Trovatore
    Turandot
    Die Zauberflote

  • Signor Bruschino

    I have to believe that the St Francois, even though Opera magazine recently said it is happening, is not happening. Robert LePage has nothing on his website (and his website always had future projects), and this monumental undertaking feels like something that would be a co-production at the very least, and no company has announced anything. Add to that its very high price tag, sadly I think NY will remain an Assise-less city for the time being.

    • JohninSeattle

      St Francois would be a true standout in any season. And, as you point out, doubtful.

      I love the much larger presence of French repertoire and that they’ve reached outside of the standard Werther/Hoffman offerings. Sadly, I think half of the French will be cut. I agree with the I Lombardi comment as unlikely as well.

  • aulus agerius

    I recommend dropping all the warhorses (boheme, tosca, Figaro, butterfly, trovatore, elisir, flute, Lucia, widow) do the rest with the expectation of half houses and budget acccordingly.

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Are you ready to donate, say, $20 million to cover those more than half-empty houses? The Met can’t just turn the heat down and pay fewer staff.

    • aulus agerius

      Why not ‘turn down the heat and pay fewer staff’? It will have to be done at some point….why not now before it is already too late?? Gelb has already prepared the unions for further reductions…next he can eliminate half the paid ushers for a start. And do you think the empty half of those houses would be filled by the war horses? If so, you haven’t been paying attention.

      • You can’t “pay fewer staff” because by far the largest staff expenditures go to unionized workers who will strike and shut down the opera house if the terms of their contracts are violated.

  • phillyoperalover

    Also note on the site

    NO LONGER HAPPENING -- Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias / Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortileges
    With Stephane Degout

    I really doubt I Lombardi, unless they do it for Fabiano.

    And i’m sure they will do Thais for Sonya.

    Semiramide, when’s the last time the MET has done that? With June Anderson right? Or was it with Lella C. ?

    • Camille

      They both sang it, Junie and Leila, and don’t know who was first--thinking it was Junie.
      She sang the hell out of it!

      • Nero Wolfe

        June Anderson, Marilyn Horne, Sam Ramey and maybe Chris Merritt. Great vocalizing.

        • Tamerlano

          Stanford Olsen :)

    • calaf47

      According to August Opera magazine:
      Richard Farnes will make his Met debut conducting I LOMBARDI in the 2017-18 season…the 1st revival in over 20 years.

      Also lists Mattila and Finley in a revival of Bluebeard’s Castle for the 2018-19 season.

  • swordsnsolvers

    I am inclined to believe the warhorses will all stay. Would that it were otherwise…

    There are six Verdi operas on this list, surely not all of them will make it into the season. Forza is a new production so I’ll assume that’s on. I Lombardi and Luisa Miller are the interesting cases because they are both rarely heard, but will probably draw less box office than Trovatore and Otello, so I’m thinking we will get only one. Beczala and Yoncheva are supposedly scheduled for Luisa Miller so I’ll guess we will get that one, though I could definitely see both singers being shunted into a different opera (or operas) as Verdi generalists. Falstaff will be canceled due to Levine being Levine. So for Verdi, we’ll end up with:

    Forza del Destino
    Luisa Miller
    Otello
    Trovatore

    I’m also inclined to believe we will also lose Pelleas --there’s too much “weird” (= no big tunes) french rep on the roster already and the others are more rarely heard. I’ll buy Signor Bruschino’s reasoning re St Francois, so strike that. For the last one I’m guessing we will miss out on a repeat of Rosenkavalier from the upcoming season. Strauss lovers will have to be content with Goerke as Elektra, not a bad outcome in the least.

    So, my prediction of the final roster:

    Norma*
    Tosca*
    The Exterminating Angel*
    Cosi fan tutte*
    La Forza del Destino*
    Cendrillon*
    La Boheme
    Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci
    Les Contes d’Hoffmann
    Dialogues of the Carmelites
    Elektra
    L’elisir d’amore
    Le Nozze di Figaro
    Hansel and Gretel
    Lucia di Lammermoor
    Luisa Miller
    Madama Butterfly
    Les Mamelles de Tiresias / L’Enfant et les Sortileges
    The Merry Widow
    Otello
    Parsifal
    Romeo et Juliette
    Semiramide
    Thais
    Il Trovatore
    Turandot
    Die Zauberflote

    • swordsnsolvers

      Whoops, didn’t see that cancellation announcement as I was writing the above. Swap Pelleas in for Poulenc/Ravel.

  • Signor Bruschino

    Also, didn’t notice Parsifal on the list- thrilled to see it come back, but any idea who the conductor or the Parsifal is?

    and La Cieca, regarding your ability to be ‘forward’ looking -- La Cieca- a few weeks ago Zachary Woolfe tweeted that the word on the street was that the Stefan Herheim Meistersinger in a few seasons is no longer happening- any confirmation to that horrible rumor?

    • Camille

      Yes, La Cieca—if you could be so kind as to communicate with Der Woolfie--as I, even such as I, would have been interested to have seen that production. It had to do something with the cost being prohibitive, was that it?

    • Operngasse

      without that Parsifal, there would be no Wagner for that season.

    • Bluebeard

      I assume it’s Yannick because Levine hasn’t lead it in well over a decade so there’s room for a new interpretation, and he’s been doing a lot of the more ambitious conductors’ operas pretty quickly for someone with two-three full-time orchestra jobs. Here’s a conductor who’s got to prove himself. In terms of operas that I think are on the chopping board: Parade (how many people would go see this expensive revival, especially with no reassurance that Levine will actually lead it); Falstaff (probably will be delayed a year); St. Francois (better chance of Soldaten at this point); Lombardi (probably the year after given Meade is supposed to be doing Semiramide, right?); Rosenkavalier (need a year after Fleming, overtime costs, and the inevitable mourning of the Merrill production); and Romeo. Perhaps they’ll also do something to replace L’elixir or Nozze, given how poorly both of these have done lately. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but it’d be nice to see them bring back Makropulos, Wozzeck, or Ariadne if they have no more Mattila plans post-Jenufa.

  • grimoaldo

    I don’t really know what they will, or should, omit from that list but I *hope* they actually do put on I lombardi, Luisa Miller and Semiramide, as well as all the new productions listed.

    • grimoaldo

      *As long as they have good casts.

      • Camille

        Grim, the Lombardi would certainly be a vehicle revived for Fabiano plus soprano X--I don’t know who--probably the Other Ange. He had a very big success in concert here a couple years ago. I didn’t hear it but all parterre was atwitter about it. You heard him in Il Corsaro, didn’t you? Then you know what it’s about.

        • grimoaldo

          Well, that would be fantastic, yes I saw Michael the Fab in Corsaro with Washington Concert Opera, also in SF in Luisa Miller and Don Carlos, won-der-ful!

  • Camille

    My cuts:

    L’elisir d’amore
    Falstaff
    Hänsel und Gretel
    St François d’Assise
    The Merry Widow

    Above all, keep Luisa Miller as it tops my bucket list and suspect that it will be excellent with Yoncheva plus Bedzala as the doomed lovers.
    That’s it.

    • Camille

      And I would LOVE to cut Turandot as well, as all the Turandots sound awful but suppose it is imPOSSible to deprive all those World Cup fans the right to hear their proud anthem, not to mention Der Drumpfster, and absolutely do not like that ZiaZeff production—not even Maria Callas singing Turandot could ever get me back there again! I

      • DonCarloFanatic

        I know Zeff is totally out of fashion today but there really ought to be at least one production at the Met that satisfies people looking for over-the-top opera. And people like me who enjoy spectacle. Oh, that’s right. We have the Aida for that. Never mind.

        • Camille

          Yes, that’s why God gave us Aïda.

          Also, there is the Bohème which is ZiaZeff. I just wish they’d have trashed the Turandot instead of the Tosca, the one I really liked of all of his. I’m glad the Camen went away, at least.

      • Krunoslav

        “not even Maria Callas singing Turandot could ever get me back there again!”

        How about ( all in fresh voice)”

        Maria Callas
        Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
        Renata Tebaldi
        Ezio Pinza
        Giuseppe de Luca
        Cesare Valletti
        Luigi Alva
        Renato Bruson
        Tito Schipa (Altoum)

        • Camille

          Cose dell’altro mondo!

          Who is singing il principe di Persia? And which one is Pong and who is Pang? Are hou going to have th suave Signor Bruson as il mandarino or as Ping?

          The mind BOGGLES at the thought of the riot and revolution which would have broken out with the Tebaldiani contra i Callasiani all under one opera roof. It would have been worse than the riot at the prima asooluta mondiale of Mefistofele! It would have taken a James McCOURT to have written about. At least!

          All right. I’ll go, if you make if a twofer and I get to hear Callas sing Valentine along with her former Clotilde as Reine Marguerite and FRANCO! as Franco, of course, in The Hugenuts.
          Done deal.

          P.S.--I wiuld certainly attend more Met performances if you were the Master Programmer!

          • Camille

            Italics STOP!

            I have to to back to sleep ’cause I woke up too soon.

  • YigeLi

    Wait, I guess we are talking about what we think will happen, not what we hope will happen, right?

  • YigeLi

    I personally would guess they will cut Cosi new production. Levine has conducted this opera in recent season which was HDed. Unless YNS takes the baton with a very STARRY cast, I cannot imagine mounting a new production for it.

    • Signor Bruschino

      The Cosi production is a co-production with the ENO which already premiered- a Cosi set in an amusement park- got very very mixed reviews in London, but so did Les Pecheurs and it ended being a (relative) success here, so who the hell knows

  • Camille

    And besides which--how reliable has this Future Wiki actually been? Anywhere as much as was the late, great Brad Wilber, who managed to get a great deal correct and whom I still miss a LOT!

    Between “Illnesses” and real influenzas, the vogue for a new singer who comes in out of the blue, e.g. Camarena, and the prohibitive costs of new productions, and the vagaries and tastes of The Board— it can all change and in the twinkling of Gelb’s eye.

    Remember the Faust opening night scheduled a few years ago? I rest my case.

    • YigeLi

      For the past records, it seems when MET announced the new seasons, everything of the new season was on the future wiki list, but not everything on the future wiki was in the new season.

  • manou

    Netrebko tasting the fruit:

    http://tinyurl.com/h2soagz

    • Camille

      “Eva….in Paradis…”

      Very Betsey Johson alla zingara! I just love black and pink (or fuchsia and magenta and orchid in this case) mixed together and it looks great on her. She dressed as what? Saffi in Zigeunerbaron? Csardasfürstin? I don’t know, but girl knows how to have FUN!

      • manou

        That is what makes her so attractive. She wears the most bizarre outfits and manages to carry them off. Mr N had the most outrageous wardrobe too, so they’re definitely a match made in heaven. Not couture heaven, it is true, and emphatically not Armani heaven -- but I don’t think she would waste a single minute worrying about it.

        • Camille

          Yes, I agree.
          Do you think it would help all of us ancient old bland beige and black Chanel-driven biddies if we stopped for a while to consider the colours and patterns of the respective regions from whence these two originally came from? We in the West are reluctant to use colour in the same way and I find the usage in all the Asian and Asia minor countries bracing and at times highly efficacious, but quite thought provoking for me, personally.

          As it happened last fall, I walked right past the pair in Carnegie Hall, as they made their way toward Hibla Gerzmava backstage (I was exiting Les Bains), and I recall her as not only more petite and subdued than I would have thought, but dressed in a kind of ensemble that resembled a princess of the Steppes, all orangey and with a decidedly yellow based makeup on. It was quite, quite different from the visage and ensembles of Anna Bolena, et al.

          I mean, we tend to be afraid of colour and these people celebrate it, and I feel that is a good thing, not to invoke Martha Stewart here. Wasn’t it Diana Vreeland Herself who said “Pink is the navy blue of India”.

          I also agree with LUVTENNIS, here below, let’s have an Anna Netrebko Show-=--I was just speaking of that on another thread-====called” “Let’s go SHOPPING!” OR “Let’s go DISCO” or maybe combine the two and call it “Let’s go SHOPPING FOR DISCO!”

      • Lohengrin

        NO, Frida Kahlo -- collection of the Austrian designer Susanne Bisovsk.

    • luvtennis1

      Anna needs her own reality tv series -- STAT!!!

      She and Missy Eliott could share a house for 6 months. “it’s Called Opera …Bitches!” Get on it BRAVO!

      • quibbleglib

        Best idea I’ve heard all day.

        • manou

          Moi aussi.

        • luvtennis1

          Yes, it does practically write itself, doesn’t it?

          You just imagine the first episode -- perhaps the ever popular “Baby Mama Drama.” The one where Erwin pays a custody visit and decides it’s a good idea to hit on Missy’s girl “friend” while his baby Mama is shopping with Missy (as I understand it there always has to be. Shopping sequence in shows of this genre) where the wildly eclectic fashion “tastes” of our two ladies cancel out and they both end up in matching sailor suits. Tiago is not so lucky. Anna, of course, catches Erwin in flagrante with a videhoe and all hell breaks loose. The episode ends with Anna and Missy commiserating over the shiftiness of men. Or as Missy points out “it starts out with candlelight and romance, but it always ends up with Internet porn and meth pipes.” To which Anna would no doubt reply “yeah, why they can’t get high normal way like up the nose or in the arm (thereby earning the show its first 100 million YouTube views)”. “Or just get drunk” chimes Missy, thereby allowing Anna to turn to the camera to deliver (with a fourth wall-shattering wink)what will no doubt be her signature line “Right.”

          The next episode will explore the fireworks that ensue when Anna N. And Missy discover that “work it” and opera kinda mean the same thing.

          All apologies to both beloved divas!

  • phillyoperalover

    Well, what about the MET doing Candide? I know that NYCO or whatever their new name is, is doing it with the Hal Prince production. Bring in some non opera stars people like Kristen Chenoweth, Patti Lupone, or the cast when NYP did it etc.who can actually sing and bring people to the MET that normally go but would go see stars. That would bring in a few extra dollars.

    • Signor Bruschino

      Wasn’t there rumored to be a very ambitious all Lincoln Center tribute to Bernstein for his 100th birthday in 2018, with all the constituents doing something in the course of the 18-19 season? Did that very fun sounding project die?

      • Sir Ferris

        I don’t know anything about rumors, but I could see a Bernstein celebration reaching far beyond Lincoln Center. Broadway and television would be an obvious play, and you could get choirs from around the city to join in a performance of MASS (mass choirs, as it were). . . .

    • Krunoslav

      Two phrases no longer belonging in the same sentence:

      “Patti Lupone”

      “who can actually sing”

  • parpignol

    great Lincoln Center panel event earlier this year commemorating Bernstein’s conducting debut 1943 with Philharmonic--
    http://kebya.photoshelter.com/gallery/021616-History-of-the-World-with-Adam-Gopnik-Leonard-Bernstein/G0000dQu4Kxejk.o/1/C0000b4J_kOeyYGU