20 September 2005

Met Opening Night, 2005-06 Season

Sieglinde's Exclusive Prima-bile Scores [1 = what the f* are they on; 10 = moon-landing-historic]

Le Nozze di Figaro, Act I. Score: (a generous) 2.2.

Reasons: (1) A Figaro without a Countess is nothing more than a Barbiere, and we all know how much we secretly hate that opera. (2) Beyond Isabel Bayrakdarian's name, not much about the girl excites me. (3) Oh wait, who goes to a prima for Bayrakdarian? (Guys, next time do La Netrebko, or anyone with backstage personality.) (4) Bryn Terfel's stage idols: The Three Stooges. (5) Friend-of-Bush Susan Graham is nicer in other things; her voice is too rich and complex for Cherubino, as her voluptuous hips.

Tosca, Act II. Score: (a queen-in-heat-in-July) 7.8.

Reasons: (1) Score could have been higher, but Bryn Terfel's stage idols remain the Three Stooges, and (2) Levine "leads" tentatively, modulating tempi at singers' behest like an aromatic cab ride through Times Square. (3) Angela Gheorghiu singlehandedly keeping further score erosion. (4) Angela Gheorghiu stabbing the stooge. (5) Angela Gheorghiu appearing to be a diva worthy of the gala-priced ticket.* (6) Renée fans seen quivering in their seats.

Samson et Dalila, Act III. Score: (a Jersey-City-in-heat-in-July) 3.5.

Reasons: (1) Seriously, who the f* cares how this opera ends. (2) Still plenty of time to see/hear Placido (this guy isn't retiring this or next decade). (3) Oh, is Placido still trying to break his own record for the most opening nights? That's getting old. (4) And really, they only included the Samson so we could tell friends one of the following: "Dahlin yes, I was at the Met opening night gala and I wore my ginormous pearls and my ginormous gown and I chatted with Barbara Walters about her plastic surgeon and I don't really care for opera, who does, but saw one of the Three Tenor guys last night, Pavarotti or the other guy, I forget, but I thought he retired, and oh, he seemed to have lost a lot of weight, I wonder if he's the singer who had gastric bypass ..." or "Girl, you go on ahead to the Boiler Room, I'm no longer itchy for boys, memories of that Bacchanale are still vibrating through my senses and back fur, who cares if I had to endure Denyce Graves' butt-screechy mezzo, I still wish I had her figure ..."

(*Later, I'll try to piece together my impressions of La Gheorghiu's performance. Meanwhile, it's Manon tonight.)