“How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return? Nothing went wrong exactly, but nothing went quite right either. Conducting this final masterpiece of Verdi—a Levine specialty at the Met since 1972, his second season with the company—the maestro was off his game.” [New York Observer] (Photo: Ken Howard)
Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera, is exuberantly inventive, bubbling and roiling with ideas the 79-year-old composer was too impatient to develop. It’s a work bursting with miraculously youthful vigor, which the newly invigorated James Levine brought to the Metropolitan Opera on December 6. Levine rightfully reveres Falstaff, and his light, deft touch and detailed musical ear were matched in Robert Carsen’s witty, visually stunning production, where Shakespeare’s Merry Wives live in 1950’s Windsor, leaving their bright kitchens to lunch at smart restaurants. Read more »
It’s the opening of the Met’s Saturday afternoon broadcast season, cher public, and the first opera in the series is Rigoletto. You know what that means: La Casa della Cieca is open for business staring at 12:30 pm!
The simple fable at the heart of Die Frau ohne Schatten shouldn’t be difficult to parse, but Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s libretto juggles its vaguely Jungian, vaguely Arabian Nights symbolitry as if with intent to mystify and bewilder.
Before you depart the Met at the end of this season, Ms. Billinghurst, you have the chance to do some good for both the Met audience and James Levine.
“Two Boys demonstrates that Mr. Muhly is capable of very great things indeed, offering extended glimpses of the kind of masterpiece he just missed writing here, and, more happily, of the kind of masterpiece I feel confident he will write in the future.”
That 60 Minutes piece everyone’s been talking about, with Peter Gelb describing opera as “blood sport,” after the jump.