29 September 2010

The Future has been revised

Who cares about the season just opened? Sieglinde announces gigantic updates to Brad Wilber's indispensable Met Futures Page for the next four seasons. Check out the following:

For Season 2011-12:
1. Ildar Abdrazakov replaces John Relyea as Enrico in Anna Bolena.
2. Waltraud Meier will share Waltraute in Die Götterdämmerung.
3. Marina Rebeka debuts as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
4. For Faust, Marina Poplavskaya will share the Marguerites with Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala will sing some Fausts, George Petean will sing some Valentins, and Ian McNeill will design instead of Robert Brill.
5. The Enchanted Island has a cast: Danielle de Niese as Ariel, Lisette Oropesa as Miranda, Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax, David Daniels as Prospero, Anthony Roth Costanzo as Ferdinand in his Met debut, Placido Domingo as Neptune, and Luca Pisaroni as Caliban.
6. Maestro Michele Mariotti has been taken off Elisir d'amore.
7. Sondra Radvanovsky has been taken off Aida.
8. Tom Fox sings Doctor Kolenaty in Makropoulos Case.
9. Marianne Cornelli will share the role of Abigaille with Maria Guleghina in Nabucco.
10. Angela Meade joins the cast of Ernani as Elvira.

For Season 2012-13:
1. Elza van den Heever will make her Met debut as Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda.
2. Matthew Polenzani will be Lensky in Eugene Onegin, which will be directed by Deborah Warner.
3. Maija Kovalevska will sing Micaela, Yonghoon Lee will be Don Jose, and Maestro Michele Mariotti will make his Met debut in Carmen.
4. Marcello Alvarez and Dmitri Hvorostovsky have been added to the cast of Un Ballo en Maschera.
5. Katarina Dalayman will sing Kundry in Parsifal.
6. For Il Trovatore, Franco Vassallo will sing Di Luna and Maestro Daniele Callegari will conduct.
7. Norma has been added to the repertory, starring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role.
8. Barber of Seville has been added to the repertory, to be conducted by Yves Abel. Some performances will be in abridged family version.
9. Giulio Cesare has been added, to feature a new (borrowed) production with a cast that includes David Daniels and Rachid Ben Abdeslam, debuting as Nireno.
10. Maestro Fabio Luisi will share conducting duties for Don Carlo. Marambio and Smirnova have been taken off the cast list.
11. Jose Cura will be Otello.
12. Maija Kovalevska will sing the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro.

For Season 2013-14:
1. Falstaff will be a new production, with a cast that includes Lisette Oropesa as Nannetta, Stephanie Blythe as Quickly, and Franco Vassallo as Ford. Jack O'Brien will direct.
2. For I Puritani, Mariusz Kwiecien will be Riccardo, and Maestro Michele Mariotti will conduct.
3. Anne Schwanewilms will make her Met debut in Die Frau ohne Schatten as Kaiserin, with Johan Reuter as Barak.
4. Fanciulla del West has been added to the roster.
5. The Nose has been added.
6. La Sonnambula returns, with Diana Damrau and Javier Camarena.
7. A new production of Prince Igor has been added to the list, with Ildar Abdrazakov.
8. Werther will be a new production, to be directed by Richard Eyre.

Season 2014-2015:
1. Renée Fleming will star in a new production of The Merry Widow, to be directed by Susan Stroman.

She said what

Some of the more boldface guests weren't necessarily well-versed with the story. "But I did my research," said fashion designer Rachel Roy. "A family member who's German downloaded me before I came."

28 September 2010

Valhalla fail

So this is what the Met's new Das Rheingold ending was supposed to look like. On Monday, everyone pretty much exited to the sides soon after their music ended, leaving Loge alone onstage, which appeared weird. It's a good thing the production failed this way, rather than, say, crushing a singer to death or dropping a Rheinmaiden from four stories up. Though they ought to be very careful with the curtain calls: there is a sizeable gap between the downstage area (where the curtain calls occur) and the immense modular apparatus. James Levine was about three feet away from being the biggest tragedy of my opera life.

Met opening night, 2010

Wagner DAS RHEINGOLD, Met Opening Night, 27.IX.2010; c. Levine; Terfel, Blythe, Owens, Selig, Koenig, R. Croft, Siegel, Oropesa, Johnson, Mumford, Harmer.

Here's a pic of Deborah Voigt interviewing light a.k.a. Robert Lepage. There were celebrities in attendance, muttering "what, no intermission?". It was rainy too, which ruined more than a few entrances. Seating for the outdoor simulcast was hell.

Inside the house, James Levine reasserted his place in the universe with a characteristically balanced reading of the piece-- vibrant but controlled. I never spend a thought on Bryn Terfel, but tonight he wasn't his typical self-indulgent self, which is to say, he was brilliant as Wotan. Shades of a young James Morris, minus the snarl; the voice was appropriately overbearing, forming a heavenly pair with Stephanie Blythe's lush fat Fricka. (Next to Levine, she got the loudest ovations.) The Freia, Wendy Bryn Harmer, was thrilling and visceral, as was Franz-Josef Selig's Fasolt and Eric Owens' Alberich. And the Rheinmaidens too. Everyone benefited from Lepage's modular steroid-raked stage, which reflected sound outward, and also pushed most of the singers downstage. Richard Croft's Loge was the sole failure: too earnest, too dainty-- but I think I caught him sneezing a couple of times, so he may have been under the weather. Regarding the Cirque du Soleil: I'm a big believer, and it didn't disappoint. There were moments of tension--like, will Freia fall from the net and break her neck, did Fasolt's slide down the stage break his neck, did any of the stunt doubles break their necks, will Woglinde's wire break and break Lisette Oropesa's neck, etc.--so that took attention off the music a bit. But still it was magical and enormous and multidimensional and correctly alive: a true 21st century production. Costumes and hair, on the other hand, were just awful.

One alarming note: James Levine seemed to have unusual difficulty navigating the couple of shallow steps to get onto the stage for his curtain call. He didn't look healthy.

14 June 2010

Met Futures: Summer updates

Time again to update Brad Wilber's indispensable Met Futures Page.

For Season 2011-2012: Maestro Marco Armiliato is slated to conduct Anna Bolena on opening night; Scottish mezzo Karen Cargill debuts as Waltraute in the new Götterdämmerung, while Stephen Gould is taken out of the roster out as Siegfried; the new production of Manon (co-produced with Covent Garden) is by Laurent Pelly; the new production of Faust (co-produced with English National Opera) is by Des McAnuff, with designer Ian MacNeil; Maestro Edward Gardner will conduct some performances of the new Don Giovanni alongside Maestro James Levine; Maestro Fabio Luisi will lead performances of Aida, with Sondra Radvanovsky and Lado Ataneli joining the cast; For Ernani, Maestro Armiliato is added, while Anja Harteros is taken out of the roster; Colin Lee returns as Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia; Zeljko Lucic has been added to the roster of Nabucco to sing the title role; Satyagraha has been added to the repertory; Nino Maichadze will sing Marie in Fille du Regiment; and finally, Stefan Margita returns as Loge in the full Ring Cycles.

For Season 2012-2013: Falstaff is removed from the repertory; Marco Berti is scheduled to sing Calaf in Turandot and Radames in Aida; Karen Cargill returns as Anna in Les Troyens; Le Nozze di Figaro has been added to the repertory, with Mojca Erdmann as Susanna and John Graham-Hall as Basilio, in his Met debut.

For Season 2013-2014: Bartered Bride and Roberto Devereux has been removed from the repertory, while Falstaff has been added; Nico Muhly's commission is no longer called "Two Boys"; Die Fledermaus has been added to the repertory, and will see a new production, with new dialogue by playwright David Hirson.

28 January 2010

Met Futures: Happy Spring Semester Edition

First of all, I'm issuing a public apology to Brad Wilber, who's been infinitely patient with Sieglinde, who'd been buried in academic bs for a few months and so couldn't churn out roster updates in a more timely manner. I also want to apologize to the half-dozen readers who have hung around.

But let's get on with the business, shall we. The following changes have been made to Brad's Met Futures page:

For the 2010-2011 season:
1. Das Rheingold will see Richard Croft as Loge, joining his brother in the cast.
2. The cast of Les Contes d’Hoffmann has been revised. In place of Aleksandra Kurzak, Cristina Gallardo-Domas, Stefano Secco, and Isabel Leonard, we now have a cast that includes Olga Borodina (Giulietta), Giuseppe Filianoti (Hoffmann), and Kate Lindsey (Nicklausse).
3. For Rigoletto, the role of the Duke will be shared by Francesco Meli (debut), Joseph Calleja, and Giuseppe Filianoti.
4. The Boris Godunov will be conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev, and Aleksanders Antonenko and Oleg Balashov have been added to the cast as The Pretender and Shuisky respectively.
5. La Boheme will not see Cristina Gallardo Domas and Luca Salsi. Instead, two gentlemen will make their Met debuts: Fabio Capitanucci as Marcello and Dimitris Tiliakos as Schaunard.
6. Il Trovatore's Leonoras will be shared by Patricia Racette and Sondra Radvanovsky (dropping Micaela Carosi). Stefan Kocan returns as Ferrando.
7. Barry Banks will do a number of Ernestos for Don Pasquale.
8. Don Carlo's Elisabetta will be Marina Poplavskaya, replacing Patricia Racette in the roster, while Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin has been tapped to lead.
9. The cast of The Magic Flute will include Ying Huang as Pamina and Erika Miklosa as Queen.
10. La Traviata will see Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta, Matthew Polenzani and Francesco Meli as Alfredo, and Marco Nistico as d’Obigny (in his Met debut). Rolando Villazon is out.
11. Tosca will be shared by Sondra Radvanovsky and Violeta Urmana (dropping Angela Gheorghiu).
12. John Adams will conduct his Nixon in China in his Met debut. Richard Paul Fink will be Henry Kissinger.
13. For Iphigenie en Tauride, Paul Groves has been added as Pylade (while Elizabeth Bishop has been dropped).
14. Armida will see Renee Fleming again. Lawrence Brownlee returns, but as Goffredo this time.
15. Ludovic Tezier returns as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor.
16. Romeo et Juliette will have Lucas Meachem as Mercutio.
17. For The Queen of Spades, Peter Mattei will sing Tomsky.
18. Joyce DiDonato will be Isolier in Le Comte Ory.
19. Capriccio will not see Anne Sofie von Otter, Matthew Polenzani, and Gerard Finley. Instead, we will have Sarah Connolly as Clairon, Joseph Kaiser as Flamand, and Russell Braun as Olivier.
20. Wozzeck will witness Waltraud Meier's Marie (in place of Katarina Dalayman). Philippe Castagner returns as The Fool; Stuart Skelton makes his Met debut as the Drum Major.
21. For Orfeo ed Euridice, Kate Royal will be Euridice in her Met debut.
22. Aleksandra Kurzak has been dropped from Ariadne auf Naxos.

For the 2011-2012 season:
1. Turandot and La Rondine have been nixed.
2. La Traviata has been added to the list of operas, with Natalie Dessay as Violetta.
3. Madama Butterfly has also been added, with Luca Salsi as Sharpless.
4. Stefan Kocan returns as Commendatore in Don Giovanni.
5. Piotr Beczala replaces Rolando Villazon in the roster of the new production of Manon.
6. Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin will lead the Met's new Faust; Alexei Markov will return as Valentin (Rene Pape has been dropped from the list).
7. The William Christie endeavor has a new and improved title of Enchanted Island. Director Jeremy Sams and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon will join the creative team. Stars will include Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, and Placido Domingo.
8. Alessandro Corbelli returns as Dulcamara in l'Elisir d'amore.
9. Nathan Gunn joins the cast of Billy Budd.
10 Khovanshchina will see Olga Borodina as Marfa and Ildar Abdrazakov as Ivan.

For the 2012-2013 season.
1. Francesca da Rimini will be led by Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and will feature Eva-Maria Westbroek and Marcello Giordani.
2. A revival of Le Comte Ory has been added to the roster.
3. A new production of Un Ballo in Maschera will have Karita Mattila and Maestro Fabio Luisi.
4. Carmen enters the repertory in the fall, with Maestro Michele Mariotti. Ekaterina Shcherbachenko will make her Met debut as Micaela. Vesselina Kasarova will sing a number of Carmens in the latter part of the run (in the spring).
5. Dialogues des Carmelites will see Kristine Jepson as Mere Marie and Felicity Palmer as Mme. de Croissy.
6. Otello will have Krassimira Stoyanova as Desdemona.
7. Simon O'Neill will share some of the Parsifals.

For the 2013-2014 season:
1. The complete Ring has been removed from the list.
2. The season will see the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Roberto Devereux, with Sondra Radvanovsky.
3. The Bartered Bride will be featured as the season's Family Program, with a new English translation by J.D. McClatchy.

For the 2014-2015 season (just added to the Futures Page!!):
A new production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci double bill, with Marcello Alvarez and Maestro Fabio Luisi.