22 September 2007

In two seasons, fierce catfighting at plaza fountain for Sieglinde's ticket dollars

The 2009-2010 (NYCO) season — which will be (Gerard) Mortier's first fully in residence, since for the next two years he is finishing his tenure as director of the Paris National Opera — will be devoted to 20th-century works. It will open, as he has said before, with Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress," and will include two other icons of American opera: Philip Glass's "Einstein on the Beach" and John Adams's "Nixon in China." The English tenor Ian Bostridge will sing in a production of Benjamin Britten's "Death in Venice."

In accordance with Mr. Mortier's previously expressed desire to take City Opera to other parts of the city, the first season will include a production of Messiaen's "St. Francis of Assisi," at the Park Avenue Armory and Drill Hall, where it will be performed amid an installation by the artist Ilya Kabakov. (The painter Anselm Kiefer is also lined up to design an opera set, Mr. Mortier said.) There will be other productions at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and, pending negotiations, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater. [via Alex Ross]
Meanwhile, across the plaza for the same season, Peter Gelb's Met is planning to bring into repertory Janacek's From the House of the Dead (for Esa-Pekka Salonen's debut), Verdi's Attila (for Riccardo Muti's pants-creaming debut), Rossini's Armida (another Zimmerman gig, with neglected diva Renee Fleming), Thomas's Hamlet (not heard at the Met since the 19th century), Shostakovich's The Nose, and Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust (last heard at the Met in 1907); along with major revivals of Lulu, Die Frau ohne Schatten (yay!), The Ghosts of Versailles, Benvenuto Cellini, and *gasp* a new production of Tosca (fare thee well, Franco Z.), and other highlights (three wows for Anna Netrebko's three Hoffmann heroines, in a new production--wow! wow! wow!).

If Sieglinde wants front row seats for this Thrilla in Lincoln Plaza, its perhaps time for her to inspect Damrosch Park grounds for a place to crash, or else hunt for a generous "friend" with a nice "pad" on the low UWS. Girl's-gotta-do and that sort of sin.

Elsewhere in the same NY Sun interview:
Mr. Mortier, who has long been interested in bringing art to a broad public, will expand the Opera-for-All program, which currently offers $25 tickets to three performances in the fall, to run through the whole season, with 40,000 tickets available between $5 and $20. He will also organize educational concerts, to be held on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, which will combine a musical performance with a kind of talk-show format, in which Mr. Mortier will converse with a celebrity guest, possibly an actor or a rock singer, who is an opera fan.
A "celebrity guest, possibly an actor or a rock singer, who is an opera fan"? Good luck with that. (All I can come up with is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but she's neither an actor or a rock singer. Oh, and Michael Lucas, who's at the Met quite often--he's some sort of "actor", and does some "hard rock" stuff too-- he'd be perfect.)