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  • Cocky Kurwenal: I don’t agree about Haroutounian. Thrilling though her huge and very reliable top is, I... 4:52 AM
  • Cocky Kurwenal: That’s absolutely right ArmerJ, and I’d add that the singer might sing better not... 4:49 AM
  • NPW-Paris: My hair is not just grey, it’s white and has been for years. But I want to see the opera of... 3:42 AM
  • stevey: Flora, I’m so happy to have gotten your attention, and thank you for responding to my post. In... 2:19 AM
  • parpignol: totally agree about Haroutounian, extraordinary voice, beautifully suited to Elisabetta, and I... 12:50 AM
  • Flora del Rio Grande: stevey – I’d say you know plenty as regards Anna Tomawa Sentow. I heard... 12:33 AM
  • Porgy Amor: A deep bow of gratitude to Nestor Almendros, one of those DPs who is among the gods. And another... 11:20 PM
  • Krunoslav: In the cast of ANKLES AWEIGH was Janet Pavek, whose Met career 8 years later looked like this:... 11:19 PM
  • stevey: Zinka! I have long wanted to ask you about someone, as I value and respect your thoughts and... 11:01 PM
  • ducadiposa: Nothing truer was ever said! Odd, as I just commented on another blog about much the same thing... 10:35 PM

Be my guest!

James Levine turns 72 this year. Even though his health has improved considerably in the past year and he may continue to conduct for a decade or more, it seems inevitable that he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate.  This is why the role of Principal Conductor is so critical to the company; the person in that role serves as the unofficial successor to Maestro Levine. Read more »

Ten thousand bedrooms

The Metropolitan Opera desperately needed a new production of Le nozze di Figaro. The old Jonathan Miller production in its last revival had degenerated into a freakshow. My most vivid memory is the fingernails-on-chalkboard Susanna Mojca Erdmann simpering on the apron of the stage as the libretto called for her to be frantically shuttling Cherubino out of the Countess’s window. It was pure filth.   Read more »

Wedding bell blues

Our Own JJ (not pictured) writes in the New York Observer, “The combination of the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night—one of the most glamorous social events of the year, in theory at least—and a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro—which is, after all, about a wedding—should result in a doubly gala event. So it’s twice as disappointing that Monday night’s performance of the Mozart masterpiece turned into a four-hour fizzle.” (Photo: Ken Howard, Metropolitan Opera)

THE DOG IN THE MANGER

It’s a good career

Music Director James Levine (pictured, left) is obviously feeling well enough that he can get back to favorite pastime, i.e., making sure nobody else has a success except him.

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isolde

Namenlos in Lieb’ umfangen

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.

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cieca_pubie

There is something I must do, there is something I must do

Your Own La Cieca has emerged from semi-retirement to present the 2014 Pubie Awards.

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New York Philharmonic

Blood types

“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.”

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Sir John and the horse

Come to the unstable

How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return?

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falstaff

He is big

Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera, is exuberantly inventive, bubbling and roiling with ideas the 79-year-old composer was too impatient to develop.

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cosi_3

‘Twas ever “Thus”

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.

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