Monday, March 31, 2008

Met Spring

Once this season of Met HD broadcasts to movie theatres wraps up, they will have shown 14 operas. PBS is showing them all this spring, one a week. Below is the list with the dates indicating during which week the opera will be shown. Operas in bold are ones for which a DVD release has not yet been announced. I'm sure the Met will release practically all of them at some point. Tristan may be the exception here since this production has already seen a DVD release (with Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen and without the Brady Bunch plays Tetris effects). I'm looking forward to seeing these since I've only been able to get to one so far this season. The Anna Netrebko Roméo is next and soon after that is the Karita Mattila Manon Lescaut so you can be sure I'll have my Betamax fired up all spring long.

  • Hansel and Gretel - March 26
  • Roméo et Juliette - April 6
  • Macbeth - April 13
  • The Magic Flute - April 20
  • Manon Lescaut - April 27
  • I Puritani - May 4
  • The First Emperor - May 11
  • Peter Grimes - May 18
  • Eugene Onegin - May 25
  • Tristan und Isolde - June 1
  • The Barber of Seville - June 8
  • La Bohème - June 15
  • Il Trittico - June 22
  • La Fille du Règiment - June 29

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naked Rheinmaidens

An extract from a 2005 ROH performance. (Not sure why it says "Bayreuth".) The most offensive thing in this clip is that frickin' rowboat.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Met HD 2008-09

Someone on the Opera-L list posted the list of next year's Met HD movie theatre broadcasts. Nothing official has been announced yet. If this list is true, it sure gets off to a good start.

Saturday, October 11, 2008, 1:00 pm
Franck; Mattila, Komlósi, Begley, Kaiser, Uusitalo

Saturday, November 8, 2008, 1:00 pm
Dr. Atomic
Gilbert; Cooke, Arwady, Finley, Fink, Owens

Saturday, November 22, 2008, 1:00 pm
Le Damnation de Faust
Levine; Graham, Giordani, Relyea

Saturday, December 20, 2008, 12:00 pm
López-Cobos; Fleming, Schade, Hampson

Saturday, January 10, 2009, 1:00 pm
La Rondine
Armiliato; Gheorghiu, Oropesa, Alagna, Brenciu, Ramey

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 1:00 pm
Levine; de Niese, Murphy, Blythe

Saturday, February 7, 2009, 1:00 pm
Lucia di Lammermoor
Armiliato; Netrebko, Villazón, Kwiecien, Abdrazakov

Saturday, March 7, 2009, 1:00 pm
Madama Butterfly
Summers; Gallardo-Domâs , Zifchak, Giordani, Croft

Saturday, March 21, 2009, 1:00 pm
La Sonnambula
Pidò; Dessay, Flórez, Pertusi

Saturday, May 9, 2009
La Cenerentola
Benini; Garanca, Brownlee, Alberghini, Corbelli, Relyea

Two things that make me suspicious. Why the big gap before the final opera? And there's no way in hell March 7 is a Saturday.

I'll probably skip Dr. Atomic. Minimally, I'd like to see Salome, Thais, Rondine, Lucia, and Sonnambula. Barring any new babies next year, this much should be do-able.

Update 2008-Mar-26: Okay, so April is an all-Ring month which explains the big gap. March 7 being a Saturday is still very dubious.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Here's the story

Went to see Tristan at the northside Cineplex on Saturday. Between 50-60 people there, I'd say and I was the youngest there. The audience was pretty well behaved and probably patient to a fault: it's pretty clear that no one from the theatre is keeping an eye on the show so we had lots of houselights not coming up or not going down in time. We really should have rioted when the lights were still up as the Act III prelude started.

Robert Dean Smith sang Tristan, replacing the still-indisposed Ben Heppner. His Tristan and Michelle DeYoung's Brangäne were very strong. Going in, I'd heard that they were going to be experimenting with split screen effects. Predictably, they didn't work. The Act I confrontation between Tristan and Brangäne played like the beginning of the Brady Bunch with the two of them looking at each other from different boxes on the screen. When you're in the middle of the Act II duet or Tristan's delirium or the Liebestod, you don't need the screen looking like Tetris. Some people on the Opera-L mailing list are in an uproar over it with one vowing never to attend another movie theatre presentation unless he has assurances from the Met that the experiment won't be repeated. See for yourself when PBS airs it sometime in the next few months.

Speaking of which, the telecasts of this year's HD shows starts this week with Hansel und Gretel.

Tonight's Tristan will be broadcast on the Met Opera channel on Sirius. Ben Heppner is apparently going to be there tonight and on Friday for the final performance of this run.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back at it

The Met has announced their 2008-09 season. Barenboim makes his Met debut conducting Tristan, Renée Fleming in Thaïs, and the final hurrah for the Otto Schenk Ring (Good lord - the video of that production is nearly 20 years old) are among the highlights. They're also doing a 125th anniversary gala where they'll be recreating scenes from famous past productions. Some of the featured productions include the unauthorized 1903 production of Parsifal, the 1910 world premiere of La Fanciulla del West and from the Met's 1883 opening night, Faust. And 10 HD movie theatre broadcasts.

Went on a bit of a spree and bought a bunch of opera DVDs including the Anna Netrebko Puritani and Fleming Onegin from last year's movie theatre broadcasts and the Bayreuth Barenboim Meistersinger (from 1999?). Also picked up the Anna Netrebko DVD The Woman, The Voice. I hear she's in this month's Playboy (interview only, you alley cats).

And the Kirchner/Rosalie Bayreuth Götterdämmerung rounded out the shopping trip. We've watched the first two acts so far. I'll post more about it later but for now all I say is every time I listen to Götterdämmerung, it never fails to astound. I love it more each time. Greatest thing ever.