NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

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lennygoran
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NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:24 am

The Met Opera’s New Season: What We Want to See

The Yannick Nézet-Séguin era begins in earnest with the company’s music director leading six productions.



By Michael Cooper

Feb. 13, 2020

The Yannick Nézet-Séguin era at the Metropolitan Opera will begin in earnest next fall, when he assumes his full workload as the company’s music director — conducting six productions, half of them new.

The Met announced on Thursday that Mr. Nézet-Séguin will open the season on Sept. 21 with the company’s first new production of Verdi’s “Aida” in more than three decades, starring Anna Netrebko. He will conduct two new stagings by the director Ivo van Hove: Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and, in its Met premiere, Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking.” And he will lead revivals of Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” and Strauss’s “Die Frau Ohne Schatten.”

Mr. Nézet-Séguin had initially planned to start as music director next season, but agreed to take on the title two years early, in a limited capacity, to help the company recover from allegations of sexual misconduct against his predecessor, James Levine. Now he will be a more regular presence.

“What’s great is he is approaching the Met repertoire like a big meal,” Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said in an interview. “He’s doing everything.”

The company also plans to mount its first production by Barrie Kosky, one of the most widely admired directors in opera: the Met premiere of Prokofiev’s “The Fiery Angel.” On New Year’s Eve it will present an inventive new production of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte,” directed by Simon McBurney and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. (But the Met plans to keep the abridged, English-language version of the retiring Julie Taymor staging as a holiday presentation for families in future seasons.)

Ms. Netrebko unveils Abigaille in Verdi’s “Nabucco”; Angela Meade and Jamie Barton, a potent pairing at the Met in “Norma,” join for Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux”; Anita Rachvelishvili reprises her galvanic Azucena in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”; and the tenor Javier Camarena stars in Bellini’s “Il Pirata.” Richard Jones’s wicked staging of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” returns, in English, as the family holiday presentation.

The Met will go dark in February, when its sales have typically been slowest, and extend its season until June 5, taking some weeks formerly used by American Ballet Theater. There will be more of the Sunday matinees the company began this season: 22, up from the current 16, all of which will be followed by post-performance talks.

It’s a big season, with 23 operas on offer. Here are the highlights, chosen by writers of The New York Times.

Aida’

I confess I’ll miss the Met’s solidly gargantuan old “Aida” production. And the director Michael Mayer’s track record with Verdi — half-baked, Vegas-theme “Rigoletto,” turgidly traditional “La Traviata” — doesn’t fill me with hope for his new staging’s visual glamour or interpretive acuity. But it will offer Mr. Nézet-Séguin and Ms. Netrebko’s first full production together, and an opening night cast — also including Ms. Rachvelishvili, Piotr Beczala and Ludovic Tézier — that probably can’t be bettered in the world today. ZACHARY WOOLFE

‘Tristan und Isolde’

Christine Goerke, a celebrated Brünnhilde last season in the “Ring,” is scaling a new Wagnerian summit: Isolde. She will sing it opposite Stuart Skelton’s Tristan in Mariusz Trelinski’s bleak but powerful production, opening Oct. 17, with a cast that also includes the frequent scene-stealer Günther Groissböck as King Marke. It will be the Met debut of the German conductor Hartmut Haenchen, 76, who has been praised for his Wagner performances at the Bayreuth Festival and at Dutch National Opera, where he was music director. MICHAEL COOPER

‘The Fiery Angel’

The Met has waited a criminally long time to hire Mr. Kosky, one of the busiest directors in Europe. But he won’t be making his debut quietly. His bawdy take on “The Fiery Angel” — a Prokofiev rarity that opens Nov. 12 — includes leather harnesses, profanely dressed nuns and a devil with a dildo. This production might not have shocked the jaded audience in Munich, where it originated. But Met regulars, get ready: Zeffirelli’s “Bohème” this ain’t. JOSHUA BARONE

‘Fidelio’

Lise Davidsen’s Met debut this season, in Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades,” more than lived up to the hype, and made me eager for her return as Leonore in Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” beginning Nov. 30. The Met does not always observe anniversaries, but this revival, mounted the year of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, features Mr. Nézet-Séguin conducting a strong cast that also includes Golda Schultz, Brandon Jovanovich, Tomasz Konieczny and Christian Van Horn. MICHAEL COOPER

‘Don Giovanni’

The Tony Award-winning Mr. van Hove is making his Met debut on March 1 with this “Don Giovanni,” which I saw at the Paris Opera last year. It bears his trademark aesthetic of brutal austerity and sexy desperation, with a besuited antihero straight out of “American Psycho.” Don’t expect a revelatory read of Mozart’s opera, but do look forward to an improvement on the Met’s defanged current production. JOSHUA BARONE

‘Giulio Cesare’

Harry Bicket has become something of a house Handel conductor at the Met — and especially after his vibrant “Agrippina” this season, I’m not complaining. Starting March 2, he leads two singers from that production, Kate Lindsey and Iestyn Davies, in a revival of David McVicar’s effective, Bollywood-tinged “Cesare,” alongside Kristina Mkhitaryan, Karen Cargill and Anthony Roth Costanzo. ZACHARY WOOLFE

Lulu’

Now that William Kentridge’s staging of Berg’s “Wozzeck” has come to the Met, it will be interesting to revisit his version of “Lulu,” in a revival that stars Brenda Rae in the title role and opens March 5. While Mr. Kentridge’s projected images move quickly across the stage, the resulting effect is more than mere flash; his filmmaking chops bring to life aspects of this opera that other stagings breeze past. SETH COLTER WALLS

‘Rusalka’

Its lush score easily falling into heaviness, Dvorak’s opera needs a sure hand at the podium. It’s a challenging yet apt assignment for the Met debut of Jakub Hrusa, a rising Czech maestro who’s already a regular with American orchestras, if not yet with American opera houses. The title role should be an intriguing fit for the magnetic soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who’s joined by Mr. Beczala, superb as the Prince, on March 16. ZACHARY WOOLFE

‘Die Frau Ohne Schatten’

For all its baffling elements, Strauss’s “Die Frau Ohne Schatten,” a fairy tale rife with symbolism, may be his masterpiece. Herbert Wernicke’s visually dazzling and profoundly humane 2001 production is returning on April 16 with an exciting cast: Klaus Florian Vogt and Elza van den Heever as the Emperor and Empress, and Michael Volle and Nina Stemme as the humble Dyer and his bitter wife. Mr. Nézet-Séguin conducts, and I hope he opts for leading a complete version of a long score often trimmed in performance. ANTHONY TOMMASINI

‘Billy Budd’

The return of John Dexter’s 1978 production of Britten’s “Billy Budd,” on May 21, may not seem so newsworthy. But it offers an arresting dramatic spectacle, with a stage-filling set showing a late 18th-century British warship. And the cast for this intense, achingly tragic tale looks enticing, including the appealing baritone Joshua Hopkins as the innocent Billy and the ardent tenor Matthew Polenzani as the guilt-ridden Captain Vere. And finally, after 23 years, the excellent conductor Simone Young will be back at the Met. ANTHONY TOMMASINI

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by maestrob » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:50 am

That schedule looks mostly quite wonderful, although I have my doubts about the over-sexed Prokofiev. Strangely, I found Netrebko's Aida embarrassing last year, with a quite awful tenor: she just didn't quite feel comfortable in the role vocally yet. I'm sure she will improve, but the new staging doesn't draw me in, considering the director's history with Rigoletto and Traviata.

That said, the highlight of the season in Wagner would be the Tristan & Isolde, along with Netrebko as Abigaile in Nabucco, a role she was born to sing eventually. I feel she's just right for this after her success as Lady MacBeth, with the great Angela Meade as Fenena. This opera needs a great baritone for the title role, and a great bass for Zaccaria, so we'll see what happens. This is Verdi's first great work, and only his third opera (the title role written for Strepponi).

lennygoran
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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:54 pm

Brian yeah tristan and Nabucco are on our list. BTW today we attended a real blockbuster at the Met Museum of Art-just superb:

"Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe. Regards, Len

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by maestrob » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:07 am

Some amazingly beautiful things there, Len. Thanks for posting!

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by slofstra » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:46 pm

maestrob wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:50 am
That schedule looks mostly quite wonderful, although I have my doubts about the over-sexed Prokofiev. Strangely, I found Netrebko's Aida embarrassing last year, with a quite awful tenor: she just didn't quite feel comfortable in the role vocally yet. I'm sure she will improve, but the new staging doesn't draw me in, considering the director's history with Rigoletto and Traviata.

That said, the highlight of the season in Wagner would be the Tristan & Isolde, along with Netrebko as Abigaile in Nabucco, a role she was born to sing eventually. I feel she's just right for this after her success as Lady MacBeth, with the great Angela Meade as Fenena. This opera needs a great baritone for the title role, and a great bass for Zaccaria, so we'll see what happens. This is Verdi's first great work, and only his third opera (the title role written for Strepponi).
Not to stick my nose into something I know little about, but what's wrong with Latonia Moore? I see all of one Met production per year (in simulcast) and this year it was 'Porgy and Bess'. Moore has a great voice and brought the house down in "My Man's Gone Now". Given that her name was one I wanted to remember, I noticed that she had played the lead in Aida previously.

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by Rach3 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:57 am


maestrob
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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by maestrob » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:39 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:57 am
From WQXR:

https://www.wqxr.org/story/analysis-202 ... ra-season/
A thoughtful article. Thanks.

Dead Man Walking is a very fine opera: we saw it at NYCO when it premiered there, with one of my contestants, John Packard, in the title role. I do think this should have a chance at its own HD transmission, along with Fiery Angel. What may be holding it back is the rather graphic rape scene in the opening..... :oops:

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by lennygoran » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:52 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:39 am

Dead Man Walking is a very fine opera: we saw it at NYCO when it premiered there
We've seen it twice now-NYCO when it opened and last year down in Wilmington, Delaware-both times it was very well done-we'll probably pass because we don't like to see the same opera that frequently-maybe the HD though--it's coming up :
Jake Heggie Dead Man Walking
Sat, Apr 17, 2021 12:55 PM.

Regards, Len

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by barney » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:52 pm

I'd like to see it on HD. There's a cinema in Melbourne that often has Met HD broadcasts, and I've seen some beauties, including the recent Lulu (with Marlis Petersen, if I recall aright) and Tristan (with Australian tenor Stuart Skelton and Nina Stemme).

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by lennygoran » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:18 pm

barney wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:52 pm
including the recent Lulu (with Marlis Petersen, if I recall aright)
Barney we saw that live-wonderful! Regards, Len

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by diegobueno » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:31 pm

A staged Flaming Angel is enough of a rarity, I may have to see it.
Black lives matter.

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:37 am

diegobueno wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:31 pm
A staged Flaming Angel is enough of a rarity, I may have to see it.
I just searched for this on amazon, and discovered the title is usually translated as The Fiery Angel. FWIW...... :mrgreen:

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by diegobueno » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:00 pm

All the recordings I grew up listening to, including Rozhdestvensky's recording of the 3rd Symphony (based on music from the opera) said Flaming Angel, so I've always called it that. The 1960s recording on the Westminster label conducted by Charles Bruck, which was the first recording I was able to listen to, called it The Flaming Angel. The current Boosey & Hawkes pocket score of the opera uses Fiery Angel, but a 1965 libretto held by the Library of Congress is entitled Flaming Angel. So it appears the consensus has changed on the translation of the title.

If we wanted to be painstakingly correct, we could insist on Ognennyĭ angel.
Black lives matter.

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by barney » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:23 am

I know it as Fiery Angel, but that's only since the late 80s.
The Adelaide Festival, once Australia's main arts festival, had a particularly fine program in 1988, Australia's bicentenary year of white settlement. It included a very fine Fiery Angel conducted by Australian Stuart Challender, one of our finest conductors. Then in 2001 the Kirov under Gergiev did it in Melbourne.

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by slofstra » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:24 am

diegobueno wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:00 pm
All the recordings I grew up listening to, including Rozhdestvensky's recording of the 3rd Symphony (based on music from the opera) said Flaming Angel, so I've always called it that. The 1960s recording on the Westminster label conducted by Charles Bruck, which was the first recording I was able to listen to, called it The Flaming Angel. The current Boosey & Hawkes pocket score of the opera uses Fiery Angel, but a 1965 libretto held by the Library of Congress is entitled Flaming Angel. So it appears the consensus has changed on the translation of the title.

If we wanted to be painstakingly correct, we could insist on Ognennyĭ angel.
Good Lord, Flaming angels! You may want to bring a fire extinguisher to that one. Fiery Angel has a much better connotation.

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Re: NYTimes Next Season Met Operas

Post by diegobueno » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:57 am

slofstra wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:24 am
Good Lord, Flaming angels! You may want to bring a fire extinguisher to that one. Fiery Angel has a much better connotation.
Yes, I suppose the word "flaming" as an intensifier for certain body parts used pejoratively to describe a person one doesn't like wasn't as widely used back when the earlier translation was formulated. Nor was there any such thing as "flaming" as in abusive internet arguments.

On the other hand, Prokofiev was clearly trying to be transgressive in the opera's subject matter, so one might say that "fiery" is too tame a word. Prokofiev might have welcomed more extreme language in a translation of his title. I couldn't say. All I can say is that the opera was known as The Flaming Angel at the time I became aware of it,
Black lives matter.

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