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