Thoughts on the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series 2012/13

The Metropolitan Opera has announced the HD broadcast line up for next season.  Here it is with my entirely objective and unbiased comments.

Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore New Production – October 13, 2012
Cond – Maurizio Benini, Dir – Bartlett Sher, Cast – Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien, Ambrogio Maestri

Bartlett Sher?  Again?  Clearly Gelb’s “Broadway show of the year” (one of them, anyway).  Probably worth seeing for the cast who are capable of being funny in the drabbest production.

Verdi’s Otello – October 27, 2012
Cond – Semyon Bychkov, Dir – Elijah Moshinsky, Cast – Johan Botha, Renée Fleming

Well we are not going to see much acting here.  Probably one to stay home and listen to on the radio,

Adès’s The Tempest Met Premiere – November 10, 2012
Cond – Thomas Adès, Dir – Robert Lepage, Cast – Simon Keenlyside

Probably the highlight of the season.  A must see.

Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito – December 1, 2012
Cond – Harry Bicket, Dir – Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Cast – Elīna Garanča, Giuseppe Filianoti, Barbara Frittoli

Is this production any good?  I’ll probably go but I’m not as excited about this as I am about seeing Michael Schade in Christopher Alden’s production in February.

Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera New Production – December 8, 2012
Cond – Fabio Luisi, Dir – David Alden, Cast – Marcelo Álvarez, Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Kathleen Kim, Stephanie Blythe

This looks promising.  On the list.

Verdi’s Aida – December 15, 2012
Cond – Fabio Luisi, Dir – Sonja Frisell, Cast – Liudmyla Monastyrska, Roberto Alagna, Olga Borodina

I’d quite like to see Monastyrka but I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a spork then watch this dreadful old production again.  Thank you CBC Radio.

Berlioz’s Les Troyens – January 5, 2013
Cond – Fabio Luisi, Dir – Francesca Zambello, Cast – Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, Dwayne Croft

I have my doubts about Debbie as Cassandra but this is definitely worth a look.

Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda Met Premiere – January 19, 2013
Cond – Maurizio Benini, Dir – David McVicar, Cast – Joyce DiDonato, Elza van den Heever

Can McVicar raise his game to a higher level than his rather dismal Anna Bolena?  Worth going to see probably.

Verdi’s Rigoletto New Production – February 16, 2013
Cond – Michele Mariotti, Dir – Michael Mayer, Cast – Piotr Beczala, Željko Lucic, Diana Damrau

Another of Gelb’s Broadway buddies takes a crack at opera.  It’s been such a successful strategy after all.  The bland leading the bland?

Wagner’s Parsifal New Production – March 2, 2013
Cond – Daniele Gatti, Dir – François Girard, Cast – Jonas Kaufmann, Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei, Evgeny Nikitin, René Pape

Fabulous cast!  This is a co-pro with Opéra de Lyon and the COC so (a) the reviews from Lyon will be in before we have to decide and (b) I’ll eventually get to see it in Toronto.  Still, that cast…

Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini – March 16, 2013
Cond – Marco Armiliato, Dir – Piero Faggioni, Cast – Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcello Giordani are the doomed lovers.

This is a new piece for me.  Curiosity calls.

Handel’s Giulio Cesare New Production – April 27, 2013
Cond – Harry Bicket, Dir – David McVicar, Cast – David Daniels, Natalie Dessay

New production?  This is the Glyndebourne production set in 19th century British occupied Egypt complete with red coats, kilts etc.  It’s available on Blu-ray and DVD with a stronger cast (Connolly/de Niese) and period instruments. The Blu-ray has better production values than any MetHD broadcast I’ve ever seen so go buy that instead.

Bottom LIne

Yes: The Tempest, Un Ballo in Maschera, Les Troyens, Maria Stuarda, Parsifal, Francesca da Rimini

Maybe: L’Elisir d’Amore, La Clemenza di Tito

Not a chance: Otello, Aida, Rigoletto (is there a pattern here?), Giulio Cesare

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series 2012/13

  1. The Tito production is adapted from Ponnelle’s Salzburg production, which was videotaped in the 80s with Troyanos as Sesto by Deutsche Grammophon. This production has been released on DVD, though I don’t know if it’s still in print.

    • I heart this Tito production (seen twice in the house) and one of the really nice features of the set is how nicely it reflects sound. Whether the Met sound engineers have the wherewithal to take advantage of that is another question.

    • I might go if I had the chance to see it live but not to the cinema to see a production I’ve seen several times on DVD! I have seen GC live. It was Isabel Bayrakdarian’s breakthrough role with COC in a very good production that wasn’t recorded unfortunately.

  2. FRANCESCA is a lovely production which should dust off and clean up well… but it demands superb singing actors. I’m not quite getting that vibe with the announced cast… thanks for the info on GC… and I’ll give RIGOLETTO a go, because I like the cast. Ciao,

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