Incoming Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin lavishes praise on former Met Music Director James Levine for actually doing his job, for once. [MET Orchestra Musicians]
While 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 »
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
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, as we are assured that the sainted and revered James Levine did with, say, Debussy. Read more »
“Mr. Levine was conducting his beloved Wagner for what was almost certainly the last time.”
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.