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 »
“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. On one hand, superb Wagnerians Christine Goerke and Stefan Vinke soared through duets and solos from Siegfried and Götterdammerung magnificently supported by the sterling orchestra, but the complicated subtext prevented me from entirely enjoying the evening. Read more »
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.
“…they hoped he would soon take on an emeritus position that would keep him involved in the company as part of a graceful exit.: