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Mostly Met

Mostly Met

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Busy with several choral groups, Kent Tritle conducted the Oratorio Society’s invigorating Carnegie “Messiah” on December 18. The orchestra proved adequate if not exceptional, though trumpeter Scott McIntosh scored alongside Dashon Burton’s lively, well-projected bass-baritone in their marvelous joint aria. This venerable amateur chorus makes an impressive sound, not always flawless […]

In the Met’s New “Otello,” Moor is Less  

In the Met’s New “Otello,” Moor is Less  

BY ELI JACOBSON | The elimination of traditional blackface from Bartlett Sher’s new Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi’s “Otello” has occasioned considerable controversy online and in the print press. Both the Shakespeare play and Arrigo Boito’s libretto for Verdi’s opera refer to the Moor of Venice as “black.” By the Renaissance, “moor” (often “blackamoor”) referred to […]

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

BY ELI JACOBSON | After a grueling, spiritually exhausting summer of labor negotiations, the Metropolitan Opera has gotten back to work presenting revivals of repertory standards. In many ways, these are better indicators of the company’s current health than the new production of “Le Nozze di Figaro” that opened the season. Sir Richard Eyre’s elaborately […]

Three Centuries of Voice

Three Centuries of Voice

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | October 24 proved a happy night at the Metropolitan Opera: a performance of Bellini’s mighty “Norma” in which all four leads belonged on the great stage. How often does that happen in major “red sauce” Italian operas these days? The John Copley/ John Conklin production remains an eyesore, with incredibly gauche, senseless […]

Love and Deception

Love and Deception

BY ELI JACOBSON | I come late to the party in discussing Nico Muhly’s “Two Boys,” which just finished a run of seven Met performances –– indifferently received and poorly attended –– that marked the two-act work’s US premiere. The talented Muhly’s first opera, “Two Boys” premiered in 2011 at the English National Opera and was […]