Cher Public

Better call Gaul

“Is this what they call a ‘textured’ performance?”

A gnawing sense of déja vu kept invading my thoughts during the second half of Bellini’s Norma Monday evening: I was reminded of the Met’s Opening Night two years ago when the audience got a new dark, dull Otello that didn’t at all improve on the production it was replacing.  Read more »

Screen queen

Devereux 4This season’s Met Donizetti Tudor Trilogy concluded with Roberto Devereux, given its penultimate performance by HD transmission Saturday, April 16. It is good to see these works finally given here; they are too important, too crucial a part of the operatic repertory to have been ignored for as long as they have.  Read more »

The chopping block?

Chopping block“After five flops in a row, Mr. McVicar continues to win new assignments from the Met: in the 2017-2018 season alone, he’s booked for Bellini’s Norma and Puccini’s Tosca, with Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur down the line.” [Observer]

I want your Essex

During its first-ever Roberto Devereux Thursday evening one felt transported back to the Volpe years: four of the Met’s biggest stars shining in an opulent (if occasionally perverse) but reassuringly non-challenging production paid for by Sybil B. Harrington.

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Sul tuo capo la scure già piomba

David McVicar, on his knee, with… Mariusz Kwiecien during a rehearsal.”

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Queen for a D

Friday’s season premiere at the Met of Donizetti’s opera about the doomed Scottish queen proved surprisingly satisfying and a genuine success for Sondra Radvanovsky.

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Wahn for a day

Die Meistersinger is a bold stroke of programming, in a not particularly exciting way.

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Hell on wheels

Absent from Chicago Lyric Opera’s repertory for 21 years, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck came roaring into town on Sunday afternoon in a stunning new production by Sir David McVicar.

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Man of steel

“This throwback to the golden age of opera—superhuman singing greeted with frenzied ovations—was a function of a perfect storm of excitement.”

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Don’t axe me why

The Metropolitan Opera’s much vaunted so-called “Tudor Ring” of three royal operas by Donizetti got off to a bumpy start Saturday afternoon with a revival of Anna Bolena that stubbornly refused to cohere either musically or dramatically.

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