Cher Public


In a move strongly suggestive that nobody at the Met can remember back as far as 2009-2010, James Levine has quietly been slotted into the spring reprise of the Met’s new Tosca, replacing Bertrand de Billy who is planning to be sick or something. Anyway, Levine is now “leading” the performances of April 21 – May 12, and La Cieca will give you exactly one guess what’s going to be the next shoe to drop.

And in the ‘how’

Yesterday’s first installment of a selected Rosenkavalier video overview covered two classic filmed performances, one from the 1960s and one from the 1970s. Today’s continuation closes out the 20th-century selections, crosses the millennial mark, and includes the first of our performances to depart from the opera’s prescribed 18th-century setting.   Read more »

Levine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

“[James] Levine is annoyed by the question of why the Metropolitan goes through the expense of restaging operas. ‘There’s every reason to do a new Aida, burnt costumes or no. How many years can you ask your subscribers to see the same production? That’s one reason. Another is that once you’ve seen a production or played it a number of times the flaws in it become more irritating. Time marches on and the production remains the same. Nothing should remain frozen in the performing arts.” New York Times, February 1, 1976.

Climbing Up the Ass II: The Climbening

Incoming Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin lavishes praise on former Met Music Director James Levine for actually doing his job, for once.

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Period piece

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s production of L’Italiana in Algeri for the Met remains steadfastly ignorant of postcolonial theory.

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Je ne suis pas précis ici

If you’ve been following the coverage of the Nézet-Séguin succession, you will note that a good deal of the coverage centers on whether the incoming maestro will “champion” this composer or that.

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Just a song at twilight

“Mr. Levine was conducting his beloved Wagner for what was almost certainly the last time.”

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I can scarcely remember a performance where so many conflicting thoughts raced through my mind as happened Thursday night during the Met Orchestra’s “bleeding chunks” of Wagner’s Ring at Carnegie Hall.

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Cold Turkey

The no-star, slapstick revival of John Dexter’s 37-year-old production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail that opened Friday night proved James Levine’s tenure as Music Director of the Met will end in two weeks with neither a whimper nor a bang.

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“Das Ende! Das Ende!

“Maestro James Levine, the Met’s Music Director since 1976, announced that after 40 years in the position, he will retire at the end of the current season, for health reasons,” says the Met press office. 

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