Cher Public

Broadcast: The Merry Widow

Sassy Susan Graham is Hanna Glawari tonight at the Met, broadcast starting at 7:30 PM. (Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

  • trevor

    ???On the menu tonight at Maxim’s:
    Homard bleu à la sauce civet, fricassée de champignons de paris, artichauts poivrade et pommes, crème au raifort 138 €

  • At what WebLink are any orchestral scores from Die lustige Witwe ?

  • Brackweaver

    The dialog is making me sleepy.

  • Ivy Lin

    I just don’t see why this revival was necessary.

    • Lohenfal

      In November, the Met sent me the following email:

      “To thank our subscribers for their ongoing commitment to the Met, we have reserved a selection of seats for two upcoming performances of Lehár’s The Merry Widow featuring Susan Graham in the title role. We are happy to offer you two complimentary tickets to one of the two dates below.

      Thursday, December 14, at 7:30PM
      Saturday, December 30, at 1PM”

      In other words, free tickets.

      You can gather from this how many others felt this revival was unnecessary. I didn’t take them up on this offer.

      Practically all of December is being devoted to “holiday entertainments.” Only Norma and Figaro are representative of more serious fare.

      • Camille

        This reminds me of the time we were outside Avery Fisher Hall years ago when Lulu was given. Someone came up to is and offered two tickets, gratis. We grabbed them.

        • Lohenfal

          You were right in grabbing those Lulu tickets. There’s no way, however, that I would accept the Witwe under these conditions, having seen the televised version with RF. I imagine that Graham is better, but still, this production is way below my usual standard for anything.

  • Susan Brodie

    Just got back--I grabbed a Rush ticket just to get out of the house, and because the score has many charms. As usual for a premiere, not ready for prime time. No, they haven’t rewritten the dialogue, unfortunately. Met debut of the conductor, Ward Stare, who has a nice feel for the style--I hope the cast will catch up with him as the run progresses. Singing wasn’t the highlight, though Paul Groves had a few nice moments, and Susan Graham certainly puts across the character.

    I went mostly because Lehar’s melodic style fascinates me--in its way, the vocal writing is as angular and challenging as what his more abstract Viennese contemporaries were writing, Clearly some of the cast were better prepared than others. However, with moderate expectations, I had a good time.

    • Camille

      You were able to score a Rush Ticket for an opening night? Oh my. That speaks volumes as to the sales of, or rather, the lack thereof of this show From all the descriptions of it which Krunoslav has regaled us with back when it premiered, I know enough to keep my distance, at any price.

      They’re serving up squirts of Reddi-Wip when it should be a big bowl of Schlagobers.

      Also, it’s highly discerning to know enough to go with moderate expectations, as you did. If one does that then that one-two punch to the gut doesn’t likely happen as easily

      • grimoaldo2

        OK I made it to 0:24 of that clip. yecch. Makes my teeth hurt.
        They can’t even give tickets away to this, per Lohenfal’s post above.

      • Susan Brodie

        I got TWO rush tickets at 3 pm! I figured the demand would be low. I would consider going again near the end of the run, basically to see if the singers are more comfortable. (or…maybe not)

        Susan Graham appeared in the Paris production a few years ago, and she did sound better at that time. Of course Garnier is much smaller than the Met. Paris revived the show in September at Bastille (why??), with Veronique Gens and Thomas Hampson--sung in German, with French dialogue. Much better cancan. From the clip on the website Stephen Costello made a good Camille. I would like to have seen Siegfried Jerusalem as Njegus.

        https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-17-18/opera/la-veuve-joyeuse/gallery#head

        • Camille

          Lucky you! -- to see and hear it at the Garnier, for at least the theatre is perfect for it. Well sure the cancan had to be better there, for it would have been an outrage had it not been!

          Very interesting to me too, as once I had a similar 3 pm experience ordering a Tannhäuser ticket in mid-run. That surprised me. Most of the time they are gone whilst identifying one’s self as other than a robot! Depends, though. From time to tume I will scoop one up but not all that often. I hear they are an insider’s perq which would most likely seem the case as I doubt staff is richly remunerated.

  • TildyDiva

    Mary Costa was my favorite Merry Widow. ?She performed the role a number of times on stage opposite John Reardon and Alan Titus. ?A Jeremy Brett fan posted on YouTube the entire BBC telecast of The Merry Widow from 1968 with Costa and Brett. Costa’s Vilja is 40 mins, 17 seconds into the video but I enjoyed the entire production and Costa and Brett are utterly delightful:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljhxE4oDam8
    Did Graziella Sciutti or Ruth Welting ever star in the title role? Did anyone see Ruth Ann Swenson in Dallas? Or Maria Ewing in Chicago? I heard a broadcast of Ewing in the Merry Widow and it sounded like Carmen to me. Quite odd.