The Metropolitan Opera yesterday afternoon was an uncommonly cozy place, as the auditorium was packed to the rafters with friends and family members of the nine National Council Audition Finalists. For the finalists I’m sure the experience was nerve-wracking but it was heartwarming to see the huge cheering crowds for each finalist. Read more »
Whenever opera-lovers are canvassed about what neglected operas they hunger to see revived, the resulting lists inevitably feature a goodly number of grand operas, those once wildly popular monstrosities–particularly by Meyerbeer–written primarily for Paris in the mid-19th century. Yet despite the enthusiasm of their advocates, these works have had a hard time regaining a place in the repertoire in the 21st century. Although a recent revival of Auber’s La Muette de Portici was well received at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, Covent Garden’s splashy new Robert le Diable by Meyerbeer flopped and the Met has never revived its 2003 production of Halévy’s La Juive. Read more »
Two operas both alike in dignity, set in dimly lit Renaissance towns ruled by seething, conspiratorial courts. Parties blaze, alleyway shadows threaten, half the characters are spies or bravos for the other half, plus a few on spec. Love is in short supply, usually twisted. What these folks need is a competent social worker with a dagger-proof vest and a cast-iron stomach. What they get is melody to live upon and die upon, melody as rich and various as the forms of pasta. Read more »
“The Met’s production, originally directed by John Copley, is still a hideous, confusing mess. But with Ms. Meade and Ms. Barton acting with moving subtlety, singing generously and feeling deeply, it was hard to care.”
La Cieca has been wining, dining and otherwise wooing her Met connection (pictured above) and he (or is it she?) has come across with some tidbits about upcoming seasons at Casa Gelb.
The big news from Bel Canto at Caramoor’s presentation of Les Vêpres Siciliennes last Saturday is far from unexpected.
Angela Meade will sing the role of Leonora in tomorrow afternoon’s performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, replacing Patricia Racette, who is ill.
This summer at Caramoor, Will Crutchfield (not pictured) will conduct two Verdi operas written for the Académie Royale de Musique.
Everyone who revives Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, as the Collegiate Chorale did at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, calls the piece an “overlooked masterpiece.”
Beatrice di Tenda was a problem child, Vincenzo Bellini an alternately protective and disparaging parent.