The Met Opens Tonight

(Renée Fleming in Capriccio at 2008 Met Opening Gala, 
photo courtesy Met’s Archive, found here)

So, I thought I’d give a little season preview of the Met HD and radio broadcasts and what I’m looking forward to.  Other opera lovers, chime in if you think I should see/hear something in particular!

HD Broadcasts
(see the full listings, including times and encore dates, here)
Oct 9 — Das Rheingold, Wagner
 The Met’s new production — rotating planks, rapelling singers, everything run by computer — has me intrigued.  As a production, it has the potential to be amazing or a disaster, I think.  My dad says if it doesn’t have the singers, all the tech-y wizardry won’t matter.  Master Levine will be conducting, with Bryn Terfel as Wotan, so we shall see.  The NYTimes has an interesting article about it here, including a photo slide show of the set and the video “trailer.”  The Met has rehearsal photos here.  I’m very interested to see what it’s like!  It’s actually opening tonight, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for reviews tomorrow.
Oct 23 — Boris Godunuv, Mussorgsky
This is not an opera I know at all.  The story sounds complicated (not unusual for opera, of course), but interesting.  I might try this one on the radio first.
Nov 13 — Don Pasquale, Donizetti
A bel canto comedy.  Worth seeing to catch Anna Netrebko in action.
Dec 11 — Don Carlo, Verdi
Another I don’t know very well.  A highlight is Simon Keenlyside as Rodrigo, and I hope it will be one of the radio broadcasts (we’ll see below!).
Jan 8 — La Fanciulla del West, Puccini
Hard to believe there’s a Puccini opera I haven’t seen, but this is one.  Debra Voigt will be the Fanciulla on the 100th anniversary of the opera.  This is one I’ll want to see.
Feb 12 — Nixon in China, Adams
Um, I’m not really sure I need to see an opera about Nixon.   Even though I hear good things about it, seems like it would sort of defeat the purpose of immersion therapy for me.
Feb 26 — Iphigénie en Tauride, Gluck
Ok, I had never heard of this opera until it showed up in the ads during the HD broadcasts we saw last season.  But I fell in love with Susan Graham when I saw her in Der Rosenkavalier (and much more searching around on YouTube) so I am interested.  The story is a Greek tragedy based on a play by Euripides.  Possible white shirt interest in that the Greek goddess Diana saves Iphigénie from death and brings her to live with her and be her, um, priestess.  Oh, also starring Plácido Domingo, who doesn’t do a whole lot for me, frankly (which must be some sort of heresy, but oh well), but then, I’m not going because of him, am I?
March 19 — Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti
Quite possibly the most famous mad scene in opera.  I have heard it (thanks, Met radio!) but not seen it.  Natalie Dessay in the title role seems promising, and this is one I will try to see.
April 9 — Le Comte Ory, Rossini
Another opera I had not heard of until the HD ads.  I will go see this for the three stars:  Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau, and (white shirt alert!) Joyce DiDonato, who I think might get the girl… 
April 23 — Capriccio, Strauss
Let’s see:  My massive opera crush the Divine Renée Fleming, singing Strauss non-stop?  Uh, yeah, happy, happy birthday to ME.  Interesting story, too.  Also starring white shirt fave Sarah Connolly.
April 30 — Il Trovatore, Verdi
Maybe.  Marcelo Alvarez strikes me funny, in the youtube clips I’ve seen.  Nice enough voice, but the acting…just doesn’t do it for me.  Trovatore is a classic, but I might skip this one (or just listen on radio).
May 14 — Die Walkure, Wagner
The second opera in the new production, I will definitely want to see this.  Debra Voigt is Brunnhilde, and Jonas Kauffman is Siegmund.
Radio Broadcasts
(remember, you can listen online via my local radio station, and probably others as well)
Note:  I often will listen just for the fun of it if I’m home, even if it’s something I don’t know or is not a particular favorite.)
Dec 18 — Don Carlo, Verdi
See above.
Dec 25 — a historic broadcast for Christmas Day.  I wonder what it will be?
Jan 1 — Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy
Sounds very sad.

Jan 8 — La Fanciulla del West, Puccini
See above.  If I’m free to listen, surely I am free to go see it in HD?
Jan 15 — La Traviata, Verdi
A classic.
Jan 22 — Rigoletto, Verdi
Another classic.
Jan 29 — Tosca, Puccini
My favorite, with the tenor Marcelo Alvarez, who I mentioned above I don’t care for watching.  However, it’s my favorite opera, so of course I will listen if I can.  Sondra Radvanosky is Tosca.

Feb 5 — Simon Boccanegra, Verdi
Apparently we alternating Verdi and Puccini during the winter?  So, I tried listening to this on the radio last year, and watching it on the Great Performances re-broadcast of that same production, and it just didn’t do a whole lot for me.
Feb 12 — Nixon in China, Adams
See above.
Feb. 19 — Don Pasquale, Donizetti
See above.  Netrebko is still cast, so it will be fun to listen again.
Feb 26 — Iphigénie en Tauride
See above.  Same day as the HD broadcast so I will hope to be there.
March 5 — Armida, Rossini
The Divine Ms. Fleming reprises her new role, which I had the pleasure of seeing in May.  I look forward to how she sounds now that she will have settled into the role a little bit.  The also quite amazing Lawrence Brownlee is back as the stupid tenor who gives her up in the end.  Stupid, stupid, tenor.
March 12 — Boris Godunuv, Mussorgsky
See above.  
March 19 — Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti
Again, being broadcast in HD on the same day, where I hope I’ll be. 
March 26 — The Queen of Spades, Tchaikovsky
Unfamiliar to me, I’ll try to listen.
April 2 — Das Rheingold, Wagner
See above. 
April 9 — Le Comte Ory, Rossini
See above.  I shall be at the theater if at all possible!
April 16 — Wozzeck, Berg
An utterly depressing story.  What is with Berg?
April 23 — Capriccio, Strauss
See above.  You know where I’ll be!
April 30 — Il Trovatore, Verdi
See above.  Showing the same day in HD, maybe I will just listen instead.
May 7 — Ariadne Auf Naxos, Strauss
This is one I would like to see, and am sorry they aren’t broadcasting it in HD.  White shirt notice:  Joyce DiDonato will play the composer.  I remember seeing a bit of the first act AGES ago on TV, and wondered, “Why is Tatiana Troyanos dressed like a guy?”  Completely forgetting, I guess, that I had seen her as Prince Orlofsky in the 1986 New Year’s Eve Die Fledermaus extravaganza.
May 14 — Die Walkure, Wagner
The radio season ends in fiery fury.  Hopefully I’ll be at the theater watching, not just listening (see above).
Well, there you have it!  I am looking forward to operas old and new, and hours spent immersed in beauty, tragedy, love…Be sure to check out the Met’s very interactive online guide, with photos as well as sound and video clips.  Don’t be frightened by Wotan on the cover…
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