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September 2016 - Posts

A Promising New Metropolitan Opera Season Begins This September 26th .
  It's September , and the world's symphony orchestras and opera companies are set to begin another season , including  the Metropolitan opera ,  the largest performing arts organization in the world .  This mighty and world famous institution is celebrating 50 years at Lincoln Center in New York , when it finally moved from its venerable but crumbling original home which had opened back in 1883 .  The old house was demolished , and the company moved into its glittering and glamorous  current home in Lincoln Center , which   had and still has the most advanced technology in he world for producing opera , as well as  ample  backstage  facilities for singers, which were sorely lacking in the old house .  This is also the world's largest opera house with the world's largest opera stage , and the auditorium seats nearly 4,000 !
    In May of 2017 , the company will celebrate 50 years in  Lincoln center with a  gala concert featuring many of the world's leading opera singers  who have appeared there in recent years .  This should be a memorable evening !  The season begins on September 26 with a new production of Wagner's  Tristan & Isolde ,  an overwhelmingly powerful story of  illicit love, betrayal , tragedy  and redemption set in medieval Cornwall ,England  based on medieval legend and  folklore .  The eminent   English conductor Sir Simon Rattle returns to the Met after several years ,  and the old of  the doomed  queen Isolde will be sung by the renowned Swedish  Wagnerian soprano Nina Stemme . 
   Other new productions will include the first performances of  Rossini's legendary Swiss drama  "Guillaume Tell "  (William Tell )  since 1931 . This of course, opens with the famous  William Tell overture  , but the whole opera is rarely performed because of its great length and  vocal difficulty ,  Romeo & Juliette , by the French composer Charles Gounod , best known for his "Faust " , based on the Shakespeare tragedy ,  Der  Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss , the Met's first new production of this immortal  story of amorous intrigue ,mistaken identity and  shenanigans among  the aristocrats , nouveau -riche and common people of 18th century Vienna in over 40 years ,  Rusalka , by Dvorak, a poignant and tragic  Czech fairy tale about a doomed water sprite who yearns to become human so she can experience human love ,  and  a contemporary opera , "L'Amour de Loin " (Love from afar )  new to the Met by the Finnish composer  Kaaia Saariaho .  This will be only the second opera by a woman composer to be performed by the Met, and the first one by a Scandinavian composer .  It's about time !   
     Other productions which are not new to the Met include such repertory   favorites as Puccini's La Boheme,  Verdi operas such as Aida,  Rigoletto , La Traviata,  Bizet's Carmen ,  Rossini's bubbling comic opera  The Barber of Seville,  Puccini's Manon Lescaut , Beethoven''s only opera Fidelio,   Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin ,  Mozart's Don Giovanni ,  Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman ),  Salome by Richard Strauss ,  Bellini's I Puritani  and Werther  by Jules Massenet .  
    Some less familiar but great operas include  Jenufa by Czech composer Leos Janacek ,  Cyrano De Bergerac  by Italian composer Franco Alfano , who is best known for completing Puccini's final opera Turandot , which was left incomplete when the composer died in 1924 ,  Rossini's zany comedy "LI'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian woman in Algiers ), returning to the Met after many years ,  and Mozart;s Idomeneo , set in ancient Crete after the Trojan war .
    As always, the Met will feature many of the world's most renowned opera singers , including Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko,  Thomas Hampson, Roberto Alagna,  Karita Mattila  , to name only a handful, plus many less well known younger opera singers from all over the world who are beginning to make names for themselves in the opera world .  
   Music director emeritus James Levine, despite  the unfortunate health problems which have forced him to cancel so many performances, is still  scheduled to conduct at the Met , and the Met's music director designate  , the Canadian maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin will  conduct  Wagner's The Flying Dutchman .  Other distinguished conductors on the Met roster include England's  Sir Mark Elder, who will conduct the new Rusalka ,  Fabio Luisi for the revival of  William Tell ,  Gianandrea Noseda ,  Carlo Rizzi ,   and  legendary tenor Placido Domingo, who also doubles as a conductor , will lead Mozart's Don Giovanni .  The return of Sir Simon Rattle, music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, is eagerly anticipated .  
    Even if you don't live in or near New York,  you can easily experience Met performances in a variety of ways , and you don't even have to be rich !   The Met's High Definition  performances  can be seen in movie theaters all over America for a reasonable price ; check to see if  there is a  movie theater near you which carries them .  These take place on Saturday afternoons, and are live performances .  The famous  Met  radio broadcast performances on radio begin every December and can be heard all over America .  You can stream Met performances through Sirius and Met Opera On Demand  , and   PBS  broadcasts  a number of Met performances on television every year .  Met performances regularly come out on DVD, too .  
       If you're planning to visit New York  during the  Met season , check  the Met's website metopera.org  for availability of tickets and a variety of other information .  Tickets range from  about $ 250 to only 25 .  It's much harder to get tickets for  "Hamilton " and less expensive .  
      There's nothing stuffy or "elitist " about attending Met performances .  It's a friendly, welcoming place  and audiences aren't a  bunch of wealthy, snooty people who attend  for purely social; reasons .  Met audiences are much more like sports fans - they go because the love opera and are as enthusiastic as sports fans at  sporting events  .  Yes, some rich people do go to the Met ,  but they love opera too !   Whether you attend live performances, stream them through your computer, go to  HD  performances at the movies watch  PBS telecasts or listen to radio broadcasts ,  Met performances  are  a special  thing !


    
    

Posted: Sep 07 2016, 03:52 PM by the horn | with no comments
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