With its worrisome labor troubles behind it, the Met really did have something to celebrate this fall at its ultra-swanky Opening Night gala. Unfortunately the Peter Gelb tradition of premiering a new production came a cropper with Le Nozze di Figaro in Sir Richard Eyre’s lackluster ersatz-Spanish 1930s staging. The next night’s Bohème was reportedly a bit of a mess and its erratic soprano has already been replaced. However, Wednesday brought the “real” season opener, an indelible, indispensable night at the opera: a starry revival of Verdi’s Macbeth crowned by Anna Netrebko’s demented Lady. Read more »
When Norman Lebrecht is declaring on an almost daily basis that classical music is dead, it’s perhaps heartening that four of today’s prominent tenors have recently recorded what might be called fluff/vanity albums.
Joseph Calleja released an album of eclectic love songs, named (what else?) Amore. Hot on its heels is Vittorio Grigolo’s foray into an equally eclectic mix of religious songs, Ave Maria. On a slightly less fluffy level are Rolando Villazón’s album of Mozart concert arias, intriguingly entitled Mozart, and Juan Diego Flórez’s foray into the French spinto/heroic repertoire, named, naturellement, L’amour. Read more »
Tenors Bryan Hymel (pictured) and Joseph Calleja redeem otherwise routine Puccini revivals at the Met, says Our Own JJ in the New York Observer. (Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
La Cieca’s sources tell her that a planned revival of Faust at the Met in the fall of 2014 has been canceled, because who wants to see that ugly thing again, or else the leading lady didn’t feel like singing it, whichever.
UPDATE, Tuesday, 7:45 AM: The Met sent out a press release at 1:27 AM New York time today announcing major changes to its roster for the tour of Japan this month. La Cieca has revised the following gossip item (which appeared at 11 PM last night) to reflect the Met’s confirmations.
Quoth the Met press office: “Piotr Beczala will sing the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto on Thursday, January 27, replacing Joseph Calleja who is ill.”
It’s been rumored, but you know how La Cieca feels about rumors. Anyway, here’s some solid proof that Joseph Calleja has been engaged for the Met’s new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann set for a December 3, 2009 opening.
Is it just me, or does Joseph Calleja sound simply amazing? La Cieca asks: is there a better lyric tenor out there today?