Cher Public

No fits, no fights, no feuds and no egos

The list of collaborations between Anna Netrebko and Yannick Nézet-Séguin has expanded yet again, with a new Met production of Lohengrin in 2022 (directed by Phelim McDermott) joining previously revealed plans for Aïda in 2019-2020 and Salome in 2020-2021.

The three operas will be co-productions with the Bolshoi Opera, with Netrebko singing at the Moscow theater as well. Aïda will be staged by Michael Mayer.

  • Yige Li

    Aida staged by Las Vegas director Michael Mayer?!
    Oh, FUCK!

    • Bill

      Any performance of Lohengrin at the Met, after such
      a long lapse, is very welcome though 2022 is quite a few years away -- one positive thing about the Met is that they
      seem to obtain Netrebko as frequently as any opera house.

      • Kenneth Conway

        “Any performance of Lohengrin at the Met, after such
        a long lapse, is very welcome.” Indeed!

      • Yige Li

        But I was talking about Aida… I don’t know about Phelim McDermott’s work, so no comment on that

    • Satisfied

      Seriously…there are so many directors who have not yet directed at the Met, why is the Met giving Mayer not one but two major assignments in the coming years?!? Rigoletto was hardly a resounding success (critically or commercially), why trust him with two major new productions?

      I harbor a certain amount of distaste for Mayer after having gone to a Q&A prior to the prima of Rigoletto: he made very clear that he has no conception of Regie work in Europe and considers his very generic production on the vanguard….despite the fact that a very similar production was done at the ENO two decades ago.

      • I think directors working now sometimes forget that many of us have been around long enough to know what was being done 20 or 30 years ago.

        • Satisfied

          You’re entirely correct. They also neglect that we live in the age of the internet and can look up pretty much any production of the past 50 years in some iteration or form.

          With that said, in Mayor’s case, I think he’s an insecure opera director and chose to be arrogant about his opera debut rather than modest. Very unfortunate for somone who has directed some amazing theater productions off and on Broadway. I would have given him a pass had he taken a different tone.

          • La Cieca

            You really must favor us with more of your mind-reading feats.

    • Rosina Leckermaul

      It is a terrible idea! The Rigoletto had a change of time and place but the staging of the central characters couldn’t have been more ordinary.

  • Elsa von Brabant

    That Vegas Rigoletto was sooooo popular maybe he will update Aida to Atlantic City and have Trump as Il Re

    • Yige Li

      Amneris will be Ivanka then, and Aida can be an Iranian refugee visual artist residents in NYC. Now, it sounds interesting. But how to explain why Il Re decided to KEEP Aida and her father here not departing them at they end of Act 2?

      • berkeleygirl

        Because they’re not Iranian… Rather, undocumented workers from Central America, having escaped gang violence… Amonasro is top gardener at Mar-a-Lago, while Aida makes the beds.

    • La Cieca

      Oh shut up.

      • Elsa von Brabant

        Maybe you’d like to be Amneris with those claws?

        • La Cieca

          Bye now.

  • Camille

    Don’t care who stages what—just hoping I live long enough to see Lohengrin again.

    Who will sing Lohengrin?

    • Elsa von Brabant

      I would say, her husband but I don’t think he sings the German rep but hey, it is 5 years out, who knows

      • Camille

        Che Dio me ne guardi!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Bill

          Well Netrebko’s husband does not really have a very pleasant voice and Lohengrin is a long role so let’s hope not -- there is Vogt who is still young enough, and Kaufmann if he ever comes back to the Met and Piotr B. and a number of young Wagnerian type tenors in Europe. When I first began to go the Met
          back in 1951 Lohengrin after Faust and some
          popular Italian operas was one of the most
          performed operas in the history of the Met --
          alas, times have changed and the Met has
          not performed it often in the last decades.

      • La Cieca

        Why would you say her husband? He has never sung a German role and has very little presence at the Met.

        • Elsa von Brabant

          Merely a silly suggestion. As I said, I don’t think he sings any German rep. He does however cover in every show she sing in at the met. But 5 years is a long time. Who knows what will happen

          • La Cieca

            Least of all you. Please stop saying such stupid things.

            • Elsa von Brabant

              dearest Cieca, 5 years is a long time in singer years. Surely you know that. I do hope Madame Netrebko will be around singing The way she does in that time. Her husband has covered in just about every show she’s been in since the got together. He was the cover Greiux for her Manon Lescaut and despite breaking his foot and having to back out of the production, she demanded that he sing the sitzprobe with her, which he did. So it is not that far fetched to think he would have something to do with a future production she is set to star in.

            • La Cieca

              Your concern trolling is duly noted.

            • Elsa von Brabant

              Why thank you

  • Arianna a Nasso

    The Met’s new producing partner is the Bolshoi? Does anyone else find that collaboration rather chilling in the age of Trump?

    • Elsa von Brabant

      I find it kinda gross and insensitive actually. I’m just surprised Gergiev isn’t the conductor for all three.

      • Apulia

        sometimes exchanges and co-productions with the “enemy” seem exciting and positive, but right now this one doesn’t feel that way to me

      • southerndoc1

        Because Gergiev is such a big presence at the Bolshoi?

        • La Cieca

          Well you know they all look alike.

        • Elsa von Brabant

          No not with the Bolshoi, but he and Netrebko do have a long history together and didn’t they once come out in support of Putin? It was more about their politics and less about the theaters

          • La Cieca

            Are you sure you’re not a writer for Slipped Disc? You seem to share their exalted standards of journalistic accuracy.

            • Elsa von Brabant

              Oh god no, I can read and write. I’m not sure those people can do either. Or that they would know a fact if it slapped them in the face

            • La Cieca

              Then try to hold yourself to a higher standard. That remark about Gergiev was just plain dumb.

            • Elsa von Brabant

              I’ll admit it was an attempt a humor that backfired.

    • Luvtennis

      Gelb needs to rethink that if he cares about the Met brand. Sorry, but I am starting to think that Gelb needs to go. He is not succeeding anymore. And I am not just referring to the bolshoi issue. Any other CEO would have been fired years ago with his recent track record. The ring debacle alone should have been enough!

      Also, Elsa in 5 years?!?!? Anna will be 51!?! How on earth can anyone plan a production for a 51 year old singer 5 years out. PR bullshit.

      Gels needs to go.

      • Bill

        Luvtennis -- Anna is a big star and a great box
        office favorite all over the operatic world. However,
        should she, in five years, find that Elsa is no longer suitable for her, another good Elsa will be found.
        The same thing happened with the Normas when
        Netrebko decided not to sing the role -- with the co-operation of the Vienna Opera , Netrebko and Radvanosky swapped roles and opera houses and the arrangement seemed to work out for all concerned.

      • La Cieca

        How on earth can anyone plan a production for a 51 year old singer 5 years out

        I assume the same way the Met planned a new Tannhäuser starring Leonie Rysanek in 1977?

        • Porgy Amor

          In more recent history, there was this in the New York Times, 2012, about then-48-year-old Nina Stemme.

          [S]he won’t resurface there [the Met] until the 2016-17 season, when she will star in both Strauss’s “Elektra” and a new Willy Decker production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.”

          The Elektra actually came at the end of 2015-16, and Decker gave way to Mariusz Trelinski for the new Tristan production, but it all happened more or less on schedule in that case. It was quite possible that 52-/53-year-old Nina Stemme would not have been able to sing those performances, but scheduling years in advance is a gamble with anyone. You try to lock up the best people you can, while you can get them.

          • Porgy Amor

            And they got some Turandots out of Ms. Stemme too, on the way to the above. Those apparently were not on the horizon in 2012.

        • Elsa von Brabant

          I’m sure that paragon of performing arts news, Slipped Disc, will have a carefully researched and fact checked story about this topic which will answer ALL our questions. *I almost couldn’t write that statement, the sarcasm dripping off it almost melted the keyboard*

        • Luvtennis

          Not sure what “virtue signaling” is but I think the difference -- in my mind -- is that the Rysanek and Stemme announcements were for the singers’ signature roles or rep. Elsa is neither for Netrebko. My comment was also motivated by the thought that Gelb might still be the general manager in 5 years. Based on current trends, I think that would be a mistake.

          • La Cieca

            Doesn’t it hurt your ankles backpedalling so violently?

            • Luvtennis

              No.

      • PCally

        Lucia Popp was 50 when she sang her first Elsa and Grummer and Mattila were singing Elsa at the met in their late forties.

        Not to mention that Rysanek was singing Elisabeth and Sieglinde in her early sixties (according to reviews she was actually singing them with more accuracy and with more even tone as well) and that had Nilsson not come back to the met to sing Elektra in 1980, the performances would have been of Lohengrin and Rysanek would have been singing the Elsa in Lohengrin. At 54

        • Bill

          I am not sure but I think when Gruemmer first sang Elsa at the Met, she was closer to 60.
          She was born in 1911 but did not make her
          operatic debut (in Aachen where von Karajan
          discovered her singing at a party) until she was about 30 in 1941 having first appearing on stage as an actress. Her Elsa’s at the Met and on tour indicated she was still very fresh voiced (if a bit cautious but that was
          probably her singing style all along). She had made a success at the City Opera as the Marschallin and consequently was invited for some Elsas at the Met though it is unlikely her Met debut was planned anything like 5 years in advance. Stemme is still adding new roles, Kundry and Katarina this year, the Faeberin in May/June of 2019 and that was announced some years ago. Nilsson sang her first
          Faeberin in 1977 or so and she was nearing 60. Netrebko has strengthened her repertoire to some heavier roles but there is no indication that her voice has
          suffered because of it --

          • PCally

            That’s my bad, I thought her birthday was about a decade later.

        • Rick

          Whereas I don’t find anything inherently wrong with The Met planning a Lohengrin for a then 51 year old Ms Netrebko (or for another suitable 51 year old singer), I don’t think the comparison with Ms Popp is very apt. Ms Popp’s career trajectory -- although sharing some parts with Ms Netrebko -- was very different than Ms Netrebko’s with Elsa being probably her most heavy part and coming from a more German school of singing. In contrast Ms Netrebko is doing Lady M, Aida, Maddalena, Turandot etc. How you sound as 50 after mainly lyric and coloratura parts and how you sound after a diet of quite heavy Italian opera is not necessarily the same.

          • PCally

            That’s true but the difference in career trajectory is only evident if your comparing the last decade or so. Prior to making the jump to heavier roles Popp sang most of the same roles Netrebko did, including some of the bel canto. Obviously the emphasis was totally different, your certainly correct about that. But prior to her Elsa, Popp’s experience in Wagner, though going back further than Netrebko, consisted of flowemaidens and rhinemaidens. Her only leading Wagner role was Eva which she’d only sung a handful of times prior to Elsa.

            To be clear, I’m not trying to make a case for the two of them being similar artists or that Popp singing Elsa is as much of stretch as it was for Netrebko (though I actually think Popp was less naturally suited to some of the heavier things she took on than Netrebko). But Popp was only marginally more known for singing Wagner than Netrebko is now. And I don’t remember anyone making predictions early on in their careers that either of them would be singing the roles they eventually sang.

            I’m not disagreeing I just think that voices move at their own pace and I don’t personally see why a 51 year old spinto singing Elsa at the met is something that someone (not you obviously) would find so bizarre. And I’m not sure I understand why one can apparently only sing a new production at the met if they’re singing a “signature” role. If she hadn’t cancelled Norma, wouldn’t Netrebko have been premiering a new production in a new role? At 46.

            • Rick

              No, we agree more that we disagree ????

              Let me just clarify that my view was not that Ms Popp was more known as a Wagnerian singer than Ms Netrebko (or more suited), only their development prior to singing Elsa (at least for a decade, as you wrote) were very different.

    • Antikitschychick

      It is rather painfully ironic but let’s remember that AN became a Met star long before Trump was Pres-I can’t even write it. And he likely won’t be President once these performances actually take place.

      Anyway… its being done to save money and because it’s in the interests of the artists. Five years is a long time though. Things can change between now and then…as we’ve seen, the directors may change, roles can change…husbands can change (lol j/k ????).

  • La Cieca