“How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return? Nothing went wrong exactly, but nothing went quite right either. Conducting this final masterpiece of Verdi—a Levine specialty at the Met since 1972, his second season with the company—the maestro was off his game.” [New York Observer] (Photo: Ken Howard)
Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera, is exuberantly inventive, bubbling and roiling with ideas the 79-year-old composer was too impatient to develop. It’s a work bursting with miraculously youthful vigor, which the newly invigorated James Levine brought to the Metropolitan Opera on December 6. Levine rightfully reveres Falstaff, and his light, deft touch and detailed musical ear were matched in Robert Carsen’s witty, visually stunning production, where Shakespeare’s Merry Wives live in 1950’s Windsor, leaving their bright kitchens to lunch at smart restaurants. Read more »
While James Levine’s name might not immediately spring to mind when pondering the great Mozart conductors, he does have a long and distinguished career leading operas by the Austrian master. In fact, Levine had conducted every new production of a Mozart opera at the Met since 1979 until health problems forced him to cancel his participation in Michael Grandage’s dud of a Don Giovanni in October 2011. Read more »
For those of you who might have overlooked the fact that James Levine is conducting tomorrow night at the Met, the New York Times will get you up to speed this morning with no fewer than four (4) features on the return of “somebody who may be the greatest opera conductor in history.”
The question on everyone’s lips at Carnegie Hall was, “Is Jimmy back in form?”
La Cieca thought it would be amusing to do a bit of speculation about what’s to come as we approach the middle of the decade.
La Cieca predicts you won’t be seeing any puritans at the Met next season, except of course for the ones who slouch around during intermission hissing, “You call that a trill?”
James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s Music Director, will return to conducting on May 19, 2013 with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
La Cieca has been sniffing around her generally reliable (and fragrant) sources, and she thinks she has pieced together a list of the dozen operas to be featured in the 2013-2014 season of “The Met: Live in HD.”
Based on reliable reports about reshuffling of the Met’s repertoire for the 2013-14 season, the only reasonable conclusion is that James Levine will never return to conduct with the company.