Sunday, March 29, 2020

Tiger King or Met Opera?

Since y'all not going to pretend that y'all aren't spending your quarantined days watching Tiger King, the seven-part Netflix series with a menagerie of characters so wacky and out there you can scarcely believe they really exist, this week's survey of the Met livestream offerings with just make comparisons to how watchable they are versus Tiger King.

So without further ado, here's the run-down of this week's Met streaming schedule (can you tell that I'm writing this between re-watching episodes of Tiger King?)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

COVIDammerung -- The End of the World in Met Streams

The Norns say it's the end of the world!
The nightly Met streams continue this week. Someone behind the dial at the Met must have a dark sense of humor -- for the first week of streaming they included La Boheme and La Traviata, two operas where the heroine dies of a specific infectious respiratory illness that was often acquired by lack of social distancing. This week they are doing an all-Wagner week which happens to include ... wait for it ... Götteradamerung.

So try to forget the fact that the Met season has been canceled! Try to forget that everyone in NY and NJ is essentially locked in our houses! At the Met website we can watch the End of the World! Without further ado, here are some of my totally irrelevant musings on the Met HD offerings this week. Either way, these Wagner operas are great cleaning routines. You can disinfect your residence three times over BEFORE the first intermission:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

For the CoVid Apocalypse

On March 12, 2020 basically everything in NYC shut down. In one fell swoop The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, The New York Philharmonic shuttered its doors for the remainder of March. Broadway is closed until at least April 12.

I felt very lucky that I literally caught the last show in town -- on March 11 I saw a wonderful off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors. Gideon Glick (Seymour) was so endearingly shy as Seymour and Christian Borle (Odin/other roles) was hilarious as the sadistic dentist. I haven't seen a production of Little Shop of Horrors since our high school did it and Audrey II sent shock waves through the auditorium when he said "No shit, Sherlock." (My high school was a very conservative place.) I also caught a preview performance of Martin McDonagh's The Hangmen which now might never open. Again, a play definitely worth seeing if it ever opens. Has a lot of dark humor and a very ambiguous ending. The cast which included Mark Addy, Dan Stevens, and Tracie Bennett was terrific.

In the wake of this CoVid Apocalyse, the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera will stream some past HD's on their websites. Social distancing made a little more bearable.

Here is this week's schedule. I saw all these HD's and have revisited these performances either on Met Opera on Demand or DVD and here's my totally irrelevant opinions on whether these HD's are a must-see or whether you can fire up the Netflix binges instead. Stay safe everyone, and wash your hands!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Met's New Dutchman Drowns

Dutchman set, photo @ Ken Howard
New Wagner productions around the opera world are considered Events. Expectations are usually high. The thinking is that it's hard to mount Wagner without a worthy cast, so therefore performances tend to be worthy. Francois Girard's new production of The Flying Dutchman was highly anticipated. It got the NYTimes promo treatment. Sure the original Dutchman Bryn Terfel had to withdraw because of a broken ankle but still, this should have been good.

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