Sunday, September 29, 2019

Manon: Glitter and be Glum

Oropesa and Fabiano, photo @ Marty Sohl
If there was a single performance I was looking forward to the most in the Met's 19-20 season it would have to be the revival of Massenet's Manon. One of my favorite operas with some of my favorite singers -- what could possibly go wrong? It turns out -- everything? The September 29 matinee performance of Manon has to go down as one of the dullest, most lifeless hours I've ever spent at the opera house.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Porgy and Bess: the Triumph of Catfish Row

Porgy and Bess, photo @ Paola Kudacki
Disclaimer: this is my first live experience with George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. I have listened to recordings and seen videos. But I have no deep knowledge of this opera and score -- I mostly knew the big hit tunes like "Summertime," "Bess, you is my woman now," and "I got plenty of nothing."

Therefore my reaction to the Met's new production of Porgy and Bess is going to sound green. In fact I know I'm going to embarrass myself. But this experience was so memorable that it's worth writing about, even as I'm about to probably make some embarrassing newbie mistakes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Curtains on Domingo

Domingo at his 50th anniversary gala last season
Yesterday Pl├ícido Domingo's 51 year career at the Met suddenly came to an end when he withdrew from his upcoming performances of Macbeth. These performances had been sold out as it had the superstar combo of Domingo and Anna Netrebko. He had been dogged by accusations of sexual harassment. Just this weekend he had sung at  the dress rehearsal and received a warm applause from the audience. Most people were in shock that he actually withdrew. UPDATE: On October 2 Domingo also resigned as the head of LA Opera.

Balanchine's Nutcracker pops up ... everywhere

It's December 2020 and the world is going through a furious, deadly second wave of the covid pandemic. Most performances have been cance...