Cher Public

Period piece

italianaWhile Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s production of L’Italiana in Algeri for the Met remains steadfastly ignorant of postcolonial theory, it at least provides one with a distinct pleasure: the opportunity to hear some delightful music.  Read more »

Je ne suis pas précis ici

championIf 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, as we are assured that the sainted and revered James Levine did with, say, Debussy.  Read more »

Just a song at twilight

Levine“Last Thursday night… there was an overwhelming sense the world was ending in more immediate terms. Mr. Levine was conducting his beloved Wagner for what was almost certainly the last time.” [Observer]



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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Entfuhrung 2

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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Elektra Marton

Not only with words, but with lively gestures

“I will never sing the role again. It was frightful. We were a set of madwomen…There is nothing beyond Elektra. We have lived and reached the furthest boundaries in dramatic writing for the voice with Wagner. But Richard Strauss goes beyond him. His singing voices are lost. We have come to a full stop.” 

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Boccanegra 1

Doge days

That Placido Domingo and James Levine, the Met’s inexorable septuagenarians, would team up yet again—on April Fools’ Day, no less—for a revival of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra occasioned an uncomfortable degree of doubt and dread.

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The Metropolitan Opera’s 2016-2017 season!

The Met’s 2016-2017 season opens on September 26 with a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

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The end is in the beginning and yet you go on

“…they hoped he would soon take on an emeritus position that would keep him involved in the company as part of a graceful exit.:

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