Though the formal recorded aria recital is the ultimate calling card of an artist, the invitation to the spectator to receive, listen, and critically behold of the offerings (on fire or burnt), they are but a souvenir and there are a few drawbacks inherent with the presentation.
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions were one of the last events I attended in person in 2020. Now, one year on, the competition has returned, this time in an online format, and this time with an entirely new name: The Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, after the event’s new sponsors.
“Spring has sprung,” announces MasterVoices’ director Ted Sperling with a smile at the beginning of Part III. And indeed, even the doomsayers among us (and I count myself one) can’t help but feel signs of cautious optimism, as the world we knew slowly but noticeably begins to re-emerge.