21 February 2005

Languid February

but a promising March/April/May


With the exception of the Pelleas, nothing of great thrill has happened to my Met life since their mid-season break in January. (1) I attempted a Turandot for another appraisal of Andrea Gruber's vocal estate, but she was a no-show the night I came (a clue, possibly?). (2) Who wants to see another Butterfly, I wonder. (3) This Nabucco, long a rarity on stage, has now been performed at the Met more frequently than Aida since its new production premiere a few years ago. However, there is still the temptation to visit one evening to get some of that Maria Guleghina (a.k.a. Ms. Guilty Pleasure), just for the sheer physics of loud things. (4) The La Boheme was mildly interesting: I've always rooted for Ruth Ann Swenson, but I feared her vocal condition is over the hill for Mimi. Indeed the Saturday broadcast found her current condition to be less than desirable. Mimi, probably the touchstone for the light lyric, a mainstay at all auditions of eager youngsters, becomes formidable as one approaches their scary age. Dear Ruth Ann no longer has the crisp, laser accuracy she once threw abundantly. In its place is a developing wobble that would more aptly characterize Mimi's grandmother. Moving on: (5) There's the Samson et Dalila, Denyce Graves' choice gig at the Met; why am I not interested? (6) Only the Figaro seemed enticing; but alas, it was easy to miss, as it got only 4 evenings.

But March promises to be a series of promises: beginning with (1) the Don Carlo, which will feature high-E-natural Sondra Radvanovsky (subbing for AWOL Barbara Frittoli) and the Met debut of Luciana D'Intino (Mezzo debuts; Sieglinde's there.); (2) the Der Rosenkavalier with Angela Denoke and the other White House friend Susan Graham; (3) the Tosca rerun with Guleghina (again, another sonic orgy) and Licitra (I'm curious to hear more); (4) the return of Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci for the Saturday broadcast; and (5) the coming of Don Giovanni, with the double Met debuts of Tamar Iveri and Adina Nitescu as the two Donnas. March bleeds easily into April, when (6) shrinking Deborah Voigt comes back to New York as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera; (7) the massive Die Zauberfl├Âte and (8) Gergiev's Die Walk├╝re caravans return for broadcast; finally, (9) the Faust production premiere occurs (manly triple lutz/toeloop Alagna-Hvorostovsky-Pape). (10) May enters and ends spring with the sumptuous Clemenza di Tito under Jimmy; (11) Franco Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac Met premiere, with Domingo and Radvanovsky; and (12) the explosive two opera-queen-wet-dream evenings with the certifiably last of the "Last Prima Donnas" Aprile Millo as drama-queens Floria and Amelia. Sieglinde declares that "if you're not there, you can't say you'd been."

But until then, Sieglinde will write mostly about things she knows little about ("classical" music; birds; blogging). Christian patience, pity, and love, my dears.