“The celebrated ‘Triumph’ scene… borders on homoerotic porn with its masses of buff extras in skimpy uniforms. (The Met then immediately loses the gay audience when the spoils of war are revealed to be no more impressive than the merchandise of a Kirstie Alley-era Pier 1.)” [Observer]
“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]
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.
“The Met turned to Ms. Martínez, whose scant resume with the company until now has included only a handful of performances of Carmen and La Bohème in 2005 and 2015, respectively. Friday night’s triumph may well leave the Met’s management wondering how it let such a gem slip through its fingers.” [Observer] Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera.
“Mr. Eyre’s production… was just another in a series of ugly, gargantuan stagings signaling the Met’s endemic lack of imagination or artistic ambition.”
New York City Opera Renaissance’s Tosca “was opera at its most retrograde, an effort to recreate a golden age from a handful of tinsel.”
Our Own JJ confesses he just doted on Heartbreak Express, but “You Us We All was not my cup of twee.”
“Puccini’s Tosca is what is known in the trade as a ‘bread and butter’ opera.”
“Everyone complains about how there is no great singing in opera anymore, but last week’s performances suggest that’s not so. The singing today is mostly fine; it’s everything else that’s the problem.”
“Along with every other music journalist in New York, I was blindsided by this news. If ever there was a company that appeared the picture of fiscal and artistic good health, it was Gotham.”