The bestowal of a bouquet of accolades upon James Levine is unsurprisingly the main thrust of the current Opera News (why, after all, should this month be different from any other in the rag’s 75 year history?) and given the plum of penning this poetical posy is the horticulturally apt writer Scott Rose, “author of the novel Death in Hawaii.”
In this encomium—for which the adjective “fulsome” is altogether too mild a description— Mr. Rose winnows down what was what La Cieca supposes was in the most literal sense a list of “countless memorable moments” to a mere 40 of the most dazzling highlights, of which a sample after the jump.
To give you an idea of the tone:
On October 12, 1988, with a performance of Das Rheingold, Levine surpasses conductor Artur Bodanzky’s record of 1,088 Met assignments completed. On October 21, 1988, the Met offers the fourth installment in its new Otto Schenk Ring — Götterdämmerung. Maestro Levine demonstrates sublime management of the ebbs and flows of orchestral and choral turbulence in the summoning of the vassals. The premiere of this production came at a time when Met patrons had survived, if only barely, a thirteen-year-long Götterdämmerung drought. By ending the drought in so exalted a fashion, Maestro Levine becomes, for many Wagnerians, a Heldendirigent.
So, cher public, La Cieca invites you to nominate your own choices for the most egegiously sycophantic item among Rose’s Big 4-o?