SiriusXM is broadcasting right now a 1981 performance of Tristan und Isolde featuring Gwyneth Jones (pictured) and Spas Wenkoff, with James Levine conducting the work that season for the first time in his career. And yet, here’s an operatic mystery: neither Ms. Jones nor Mr. Wenkoff was the casting originally conceived by Mr. Levine for this revival: they joined the cast fairly late in the game. So, who among the cher public can tell us which two familiar Met artists were supposed to sing these roles?
Your Own La Cieca has emerged from
the tomb semi-retirement to present the 2014 Pubie Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of opera and opera-related entertainment in New York and various points north. You, the public, voted, and your decisions, such as they are, are final.
May she have the envelopes, please? Read more »
“The finale of Sweeney Todd left the stage of Avery Fisher Hall littered with corpses, but the evening, for all its flaws, felt vibrantly alive. If only the Met could get similarly revved for its production of Wozzeck. On Thursday night, the opera, whose graphic violence quotient is small potatoes compared to the Sweeney Todd bloodbath, played to a listless half-empty house.” [New York Observer] (Photo: Chris Lee)
How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return?
Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera, is exuberantly inventive, bubbling and roiling with ideas the 79-year-old composer was too impatient to develop.
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.
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?”