By the third week in May, the Metropolitan Opera’s 2011-12 season had been over for a week or so. Not that an opera company’s summer is really a break. Most of July is spent planning, and by August preparations are underway in earnest for the start of the season in September. The final week or so of May, however, is a reliable respite. The phones slow down; staff members usually get away for a few days.
I hope it will spoil no one’s six-hour evening to learn that Robert Lepage’s production of Götterdämmerung, the fourth and final opera in Wagner’s Ring cycle, ends the way Mr. Lepage’s cycle began.
Although it was only September, 2010, it seems a long time ago that the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010-11 season opened with Das Rheingold, Read More
This season at the Metropolitan Opera will be dominated by the story of a maestro and a diva. Opening night, Sept. 27, music director James Levine returns to the podium to conduct Wagner’s Das Rheingold, as the Met releases a box set of 32 CDs and 21 DVDs–22 complete operas in all–in honor of his Read More
How intense is Peter Gelb‘s new “Ring” cycle? Intense enough that the set is in danger of collapsing the stage.
According to today’s Times, the Met has installed three 65-foot girders underneath the stage to support the 45-ton set for Wagner’s four epic operas. The paper says the structure is Read More
When we caught up with comedian Zach Galifinakis at the American Ballet Theater’s spring gala on Monday, May 17, he seemed annoyed that he’d been noticed. And this wasn’t the overstated peevishness that’s helped him gain his newfound fame. It was the regular kind. “To be honest with you, I don’t really know a lot Read More
Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, is not a man given to self-revealing gestures. In interviews he comes across as studiously bland—undramatic and unconfessional. He is soft-spoken, and while he is by all accounts an exacting, detail-oriented boss, he’s not a performer, nor does he wear his heart on his sleeve.
Under Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera has been focused on the fresh and the new, streaming out spiffy high-def broadcasts of its elegantly marketed new productions. But this week brings to the company a blast from the past with the return of a familiar face. Joseph Volpe, who served as the Met’s general manager from Read More
Operagoers got a flashback to 1998 at the Metropolitan Opera last Thursday. It was the beginning of the second act of the Met’s new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, directed by Bartlett Sher. The curtain rose on an almost bare stage. Against a background of rich, dark blue, a white panel slowly began to Read More
Anna Netrebko is a very good, very famous singer. It feels almost heretical to ask her about the way in which her dazzling career might, at some point, wind down. But at the pinnacle of success, still young at 38, she has already given the matter some thought.
“What would I like to do Read More
“Questo giorno di tormenti!” the characters exclaim at the end of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro: “What a day of troubles!”
At this point, Peter Gelb would probably gladly settle for just one day. Instead, his problems, which began opening night, are stretching into the third week of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2009-10 season, the first Read More