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The Met When It’s Good

The Met When It’s Good

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | It’s a real if rare pleasure to walk out of the Metropolitan Opera thinking, “That was an extraordinary performance, worthy of the company’s highest legacy.” I felt that after — and indeed during — February 20’s “Parsifal.” Wagner’s final opera deals meaningfully in redemptive miracles; above all what mattered here was Yannick […]

Love Boat, Death Boat

Love Boat, Death Boat

BY ELI JACOBSON | The Metropolitan Opera opened its 50th season at Lincoln Center on September 26th with a musically powerful new production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.” Mariusz Treliński’s bleakly pessimistic production premiered earlier this year in Baden-Baden to mixed reviews. However, the Met has assembled a musical dream team of Wagnerian heavy hitters: Nina […]

Autos and an Auto-da-Fe

Autos and an Auto-da-Fe

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | It’s delightful to be in San Francisco in June, with Frameline’s massive LGBTQ film festival just the pinnacle of Bay Area cultural events for a diverse community. This year’s San Francisco Opera line-up offered appealing prospects in three of the greatest operas ever written: “Don Carlo,” “Jenufa,” and “Carmen” — the Verdi […]

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 […]

New Starts

New Starts

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | September brought good news to New York’s opera world. The American Opera Projects premiered a fine new work of unusual interest to the LGBT community, Laura Kaminsky’s “As One.” And the Metropolitan, after bruising labor negotiations, opened on time, with an uneven new staging of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and a […]

Musical Salvation

Musical Salvation

BY ELI JACOBSON | Wagner’s “Parsifal” is not a conventional opera in dramatic structure, content, or conception and should not be staged like one. The Metropolitan Opera’s previous production — the least successful of the Otto Schenk/ Günther Schneider-Siemssen “romantic, realistic” Met Wagner productions — turned the opera into Disneyfied kitsch. I remember vividly the Astroturf […]