Friday, March 1, 2013

The Met 2013-2014

No, it is not that the recently presented Met productions are worse than those presented before. It is just that the standards remained the same as they were in the 80s, 90's, 00s. Somewhat surprisingly The Met refused to embrace the change in opera by preferring to label as Eurotrash anything that would be a slight theatrical attempt to elevate opera to the new artistic heights. And so while the others moved on, The Met continued with the same old static, no-brainer, uninteresting shows created only to entertain the most conservative part of the opera aficionados [recent such examples that I could see were Il Trovatore, Don Giovanni, (Faust), Carmen, Capriccio, Boris Godunov, Maria Stuarda, ...].

There were attempts to cross the line and bring a bit of life to the creative process, and even though some of the new shows were really bad [e.g. Sonnambula, Ring, Armida] they revealed something important & positive -- that the house's artistic management wanted to take risks but was just too afraid to really go for it [instead of N snoozefests directed by Bartlett Sher,  they could have given a chance to a bundle of talent -- Thaddeus Strassberger (also American), for example]. In any case, even these failed attempts to create something new are to be preferred to the old mothball events such as La Bohème by Zeff...

Happily, however, there are some rare but true gems  -- c.f. the new & currently running Parsifal (tomorrow in the movies!)

The Met's 2013-2014 program  indicates a big improvement as it announces the arrival of two great directors: (a) Deborah Warner who will present her take on Eugene Onegin [with Anna Netrebko singing, the event should be a winner], and (b) the über-talented Dima Tcherniakov who will most probably be viciously booed for his staging of Prince Igor, but like all of his productions this will provide a breath of fresh air to the house. Yours Truly is tempted to go to NYC for  the premiere despite the fact that one show in the run will be live broadcast in the cinemas worldwide.

You could nitpick about a few names missing in the casts but overall it is the top notch, as you would expect it to be from The Met's artistic management.

September 2013:
  • Eugene Onegin [new production]: dir- Deobrah Warner, cnd- Gergiev/Vedernikov, cast: Netrebko, Volkova, Beczala, Kwiecien, Tanovitsky / Poplavskaya, Maximova, Villazón, Mattei, Kocán 
  • Cosi fan tutte [revival]: dir-  Lesley Koenig, cnd- Levine, cast: Phillips, Leonard, de Niese, Polenzani, Pogossov, Muraro  
  • The Nose [revival]: dir- William Kentridge, cnd- Gergiev/Smelkov, cast: Popov, Lewis, Szot
  • Norma [revival]: dir-  John Copley, cnd- Frizza, cast:  Radvanovsky, Aldrich, Antonenko, Morris / Meade, Barton, Antonenko, Orlov

October 2013:
  • A Midnight Summer's Night Dream [new production revival]: dir- Tim Albery, cnd- Conlon, cast: Kim, Wall, DeShong, Davies, Kaiser, Simpson, Rose 
  • Two Boys (opera by Nico Muhly) [new production]: dir- Bartlett Sher, cnd- Robertson, cast: Zetlan, Lynch, Coote, Eddy, Forst, Appleby, Bolduc, Miller  
  • Tosca [revival]: dir- Luc Bondy, cnd- Frizza/Armiliato, cast: Racette, Alagna, Gagnidze, Del Carlo / Radvanovsky, Tamura, Gagnidze, Del Carlo  / Matos, Giordani, Gagnidze, Del Carlo

November 2013:
  • Die Frau ohne Schatten [revival]: dir-  Herbert Wernicke, cnd- Jurowski, cast: Schwanewilms, Goerke, Komlósi, Kerl, Reuter 
  • Rigoletto  [revival]: dir-  Michael Mayer, cnd- Heras-Casado, cast: Kurzak, Volkova, Polenzani, Hvorostovsky, Kocán

December 2013:
  • Der Rosenkavalier [revival]: dir- Nathaniel Merrill, cnd- Gardner, cast: Serafin, Garanca, Erdmann, Cutler, Ketelsen, Rose 
  • Falstaff [revival]: dir- Robert Carsen, cnd- Levine, cast: Oropesa, Meade, Blythe, Johnson Cano, Fanale, Maestri/Alaimo, Vassallo 
  • The Magic Flute [revival]: dir- Julie Taymor, cnd- Glover, cast: Stober, Shagimuratova, Shrader, Gunn, Shenyang, Owens   
  • Die Fledermaus [revival]: dir- Jeremy Sams, cnd- Fischer, cast: Phillips, Schäfer, Costanzo, Maltman, Fabiano, Szot

January 2014:
  • L'Elisir d'Amore [revival]: dir- Bartlett Sher, cnd- Benini, cast: Netrebko, Vargas, Alaimo, Schrott 
  • La Bohème [revival]: dir- Franco Zeffirelli, cnd- Ranzani, cast: Kovalevska, Lungu, Calleja, Markov, Hopkins, Van Horn, Maxwell / Hartig, Rowley, Grigolo, Cavalletti, Carfizzi, Testé, Cokorinos  / Frittoli, Rowley, Grigolo, Cavalletti, Carfizzi, Gradus, Maxwell  
  • Madama Butterfly [revival]: dir- Anthony Minghella, cnd- Auguin/Armiliato/Luisi, cast: Echalaz, DeShong, Hymel, Hendricks / Opolais, Zifchak, Valenti, Croft / He, Zifchak, Hughes Jones, Croft  
  • Rusalka [revival]: dir-  Otto Schenk, cnd- Nézet-Séguin, cast: Fleming, Magee, Zajick, Beczala, Relyea 

February 2014:
  • Prince Igor [new production]: dir- Dmitri Tcherniakov, cnd- Noseda, cast: Dyka, Rachvelishvili, Semishkur, Abdrazakov, Petrenko, Kocán 
  • Werther [new production]: dir- Richard Eyre, cnd- Altnoglu, cast: Oropesa, Garanca, Kaufmann, Bizic, Summers  
  • The Enchanted Island [revival]: dir-  Phelim McDermott, cnd- Summers, cast: de Niese, Chuchman, Graham, Daniels, Costanzo, Domingo, Pisaroni

March 2014:
  • Wozzeck [new production revival]: dir- Mark Lamos, cnd- Levine, cast: Voigt, O'Neill, Hoare, Hampson, Bayley 
  • La Sonnambula [revival]: dir- Mary Zimmerman, cnd- Armiliato, cast: Damrau, Camarena, Pertusi  
  • Andrea Chénier [revival]: dir- Nicolas Joël, cnd- Noseda, cast: Racette, Álvarez, Lucic

April 2014:
  • Arabella [revival]: dir- Otto Schenk, cnd- Auguin, cast: Byström, Kühmeier, Saccà, Volle, Del Carlo 
  • I Puritani [revival]: dir- Sandro Sequi, cnd- Mariotti, cast: Peretyatko, Brownlee, Kwiecien, Pertusi  
  • La Cenerentola [revival]: dir- Cesare Lievi, cnd- Luisi, cast: DiDonato, Flórez, Spagnoli, Corbelli, Pisaroni


  1. It should be noted that the Midsummer Night's Dream and Wozzeck productions are revivals, though perhaps the original directors will return to supervise the stagings.

    1. Thanks LaC! My bad. I corrected it. I hope the improvement will be visible.

      I saw the new Rigoletto a few days ago and its first half is good. It fell apart in the second part and the overload of sets/costumes was unnecessary, but the ground idea for the show was excellent, I thought.