18 May 2006

Volpe Gala Central

UPDATE [May 21]: My impressions of the event are all here. Enjoy.

THE GOOD NEWS. Sieglinde is going. (Yeah, score. Meanwhile, my jaw is officially numb ...) THE BAD NEWS. Event officially sold out (except perhaps Sponsor & Benefactor seating, at $3000 and $5000 respectively; massage from Renee or Debbie will cost extra, but free if you write for the NYT). MORE BAD NEWS. Standing room tickets ($35 and $50) will be sold the day of; box office window opens at 10am; line may begin to form the night before. (Bring favorite Ring set, change of underwear, lube.) Only one ticket per person: "there has to be a body present and that body will get only one ticket." [Josephine Rowe, The Boss of you.] TENTATIVE PROGRAM. Official list of singers; meanwhile, Mama Cieca has moles. FOR THOSE WHO AREN'T SO LUCKY. Radio and TV: the Met broadcast radio network will carry the event (check with local station for time and day) and PBS will air it on TV June 1, 8pm (edited version; i.e., you won't see all of Mirella Freni's 3-minute crawl from the wings for her curtain calls). More importantly, parterre.com will liveblog (classic!). THE PRESS. Where is Catherine Malfitano? "(W)hen you look at the soprano and tenor voices, there is a yawning void." [NYTimes]. "Vulgarity is a common denominator" (and take note of the invisible Volpe-Gelb Battle battle). [FT.com]. " The price of all this sleek efficiency is fear." [Newsday]. "I don't think it's skills so much, as knowledge and awareness." [PlaybillArts.com] MISSED? Elaborating on Anne Midgette's NYT piece, here's a list of female singers (active during the Volpe regime) gone AWOL (and no, Susan Dunn shouldn't be on this list: she sang nothing but the Trovatore Leonora at the Met, I believe): June Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Hildegard Behrens, Barbara Bonney, Jane Eaglen, Angela Gheorghiu, Hei-Kyung Hong, Jennifer Larmore, Catherine Malfitano, Susanne Mentzer, Aprile Millo, Heidi Grant Murphy, Jessye Norman, Sondra Radvanovsky, Diana Soviero, Cheryl Studer, Sharon Sweet, Dawn Upshaw, Carol Vaness, Veronica Villarroel, Anne Sophie Von Otter. Certainly, not everyone can be invited, not everyone can competently sing for a house any longer, not everyone has celebrity wattage-- but if Denyce Graves is coming, then why not Carol Vaness? (Marina Mescheriakova, anyone? "Marked for deletion," as per her AWOL website.) FIVE HOURS? YEAH, RIGHT. The plan is to begin the festivities at 5:30pm, drop curtain by 10:30pm, then have one of those feasts at the ex-Vilar Grand Tier. The "five-hour" event will be split into two segments, two and a quarter hours each (longer than Parsifal Act I, wtf), with only one intervening 30-minute intermission (just enough time for sushi rolls and a pee). I'm betting my ticket (pictured above) that we don't get out till way, way after 11pm.