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Long Lines

Long Lines

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | At 16, I saw the Met’s current production of “I puritani”, which the company revived with mixed success February 10. The staging (Sandro Sequi), sets (Ming Cho Lee), and costumes (Peter J. Hall) were in a deliberated antiquated style — scrims, drops, stand-and-sing chorus — beloved of the “muscle” behind the project, […]

What They Did for Love

What They Did for Love

BY ELI JACOBSON | Passionate women who go to extreme lengths for love eventually making the ultimate sacrifice are the lifeblood of opera. The winter opera season brought us several shattering portraits of women who live and die for love. Only a few hours before 2017 began, Juliet Capulet died for love in the New […]

Subs Surface at the Met

Subs Surface at the Met

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | In any of the much-discussed “golden eras” of the Metropolitan Opera, keeping casts of a production together was rarely a priority. Sometimes voice fans loved this. For example, in 1964-65 one could hear six Toscas, six Cavaradossis, and seven Scarpias divided among 16 house performances, virtually all of them international artists, many […]

A Long Submerged Operatic Jewel Rises Again

A Long Submerged Operatic Jewel Rises Again

BY ELI JACOBSON | Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” is the “C” in the operatic “ABC” triad of most popular works. While “Carmen” has totaled more than 1,000 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, this season’s New Year’s Eve premiere of Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” marked only its fifth Met performance and the first since the 1916-17 season. […]

The French Connection

The French Connection

BY ELI JACOBSON | French opera has become something of a stepchild in the international operatic repertoire — it doesn’t always get the love and attention it needs even in Paris. Its specialists are few and far between, and the French style has become internationalized, losing character, delicacy, and perfume. The Metropolitan Opera, historically a major […]

Starless Turns, Turning Stars

Starless Turns, Turning Stars

BY ELI JACOBSON | Certain operas — Puccini’s “La Bohème” for example — can withstand non-star casting because the opera itself is the star. Less durable repertory items serve as vehicles for established stars with unique vocal qualities. Three star-dependent operas were revived this spring at the Metropolitan Opera. The casts were made up, with one notable […]

Oh, Diana!

Oh, Diana!

  BY DAVID NOH | Undoubtedly one of the most exciting opera singers today, Diana Damrau just wrapped an ecstatically received run of performances of Bellini’s “La Sonnambula” at the Met –– and made her triumphant cabaret debut at Le Poisson Rouge, celebrating her solo album, “Forever,” which she calls “the soundtrack of my life.” Opera […]

Casino Verdi

Casino Verdi

BY ELI JACOBSON | Updated opera productions may be a recent phenomenon at the Metropolitan Opera but have been the norm worldwide for years. Michael Mayer (Broadway’s “Spring Awakening”) sets his new Met production of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” in “Oceans Eleven” Las Vegas circa 1960, where mob corruption and violence lurk behind the casino’s over-the-top showbiz glamour. […]