There is something so very Don Draper about René Pape. The German bass is blessed with one of the most beautiful, sonorous instruments of all time. There is never a hint of a Bayreuth bark about Pape’s voice—it is rich, deep, loud, like a fine Cabernet Sauvignon. When he first came on the opera scene everyone swooned over that beautiful voice. But just as Don Draper refuses to curry favor with anyone in his life, Pape has proved to be a stubborn, mystifying artist. Read more »
With its worrisome labor troubles behind it, the Met really did have something to celebrate this fall at its ultra-swanky Opening Night gala. Unfortunately the Peter Gelb tradition of premiering a new production came a cropper with Le Nozze di Figaro in Sir Richard Eyre’s lackluster ersatz-Spanish 1930s staging. The next night’s Bohème was reportedly a bit of a mess and its erratic soprano has already been replaced. However, Wednesday brought the “real” season opener, an indelible, indispensable night at the opera: a starry revival of Verdi’s Macbeth crowned by Anna Netrebko’s demented Lady. Read more »
“Thank goodness the Met’s new production by Richard Eyre lacks a bold new concept.” [vulture.com]
The Met press office announces: “Hei-Kyung Hong will sing the role of Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème on September 26 and 29, replacing Ekaterina Scherbachenko, who is ill.”
“So it’s twice as disappointing that Monday night’s performance of the Mozart masterpiece turned into a four-hour fizzle.”
“I applaud the Klinghoffer protesters for voicing their opinions, but that doesn’t stop me from saying that I find those opinions ill-informed, inept and downright dangerous.”
You’ve cast your votes for the operas you most look forward to hearing at the Met this fall, and if the opera has “Macbeth” in the title, you’re there.
The very busy Met press office announces: “The Metropolitan Opera announces cast changes for this season’s performances of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Verdi’s Aida, and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.”
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.