The Metropolitan Opera has announced the line up of HD broadcasts for 2013/14. My first observation is that there are only ten versus twelve last year (and even more some years if I recall correctly). Is the gloss coming off this initiative?
Frankly, too, it looks pretty dull unless one’s taste is for starry casts in unchallenging productions. My comments follow each listing.
Here’s the full season; lots of details and puffery at the Met website:
Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky – October 5, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET
New Production – (c)Valery Gergiev (d)Deborah Warner
Cast: Mariusz Kwiecien (Eugene Onegin), Anna Netrebko (Tatiana), Oksana Volkova (Olga), Piotr Beczala (Lenski), Alexei Tanovitsky (Gremin)
Just can’t get excited about this.
The Nose – Shostakovich – October 26, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET
(c) Pavel Smelkov (d) William Kentridge
Cast: Paulo Szot (Kovalyov), Andrey Popov (Police Inspector), Alexander Lewis (The Nose)
At last! The only piece of the season that’s not utterly mainstream or 19th century Romantic. I’ll be seeing this for sure.
Tosca – Puccini – November 9, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET
(c) Riccardo Frizza (d)Luc Bondy
Cast: Patricia Racette (Tosca), Roberto Alagna (Cavaradossi), George Gagnidze (Scarpia), John Del Carlo (Sacristan)
It’s like 5 minutes since they last HD’d this production. Why bother?
Falstaff – Giuseppe Verdi – December 14, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET
New Production (c)James Levine (d)Robert Carsen
Cast: Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff), Lisette Oropesa (Nannetta), Angela Meade (Alice Ford), Stephanie Blythe (Mistress Quickly), Jennifer Johnson Cano (Meg Page), Paolo Fanale (Fenton), Franco Vassallo (Ford)
This is the ROH production which is probably heading for Toronto anyway. I probably won’t bother.
Rusalka – Dvořák – February 8, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET
(c)Yannick Nézet-Séguin (d)Otto Schenk
Cast: Renée Fleming (Rusalka), Emily Magee (Foreign Princess), Dolora Zajick (Ježibaba), Piotr Beczala (Prince), John Relyea (Water Sprite)
Schenk? Are you kidding me it’s 2014 already!
Prince Igor – Alexander Borodin – March 1, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. ET
New Production (c)Gianandrea Noseda (d)Dmitri Tcherniakov
Cast: Ildar Abdrazakov (Prince Igor Svyatoslavich), Oksana Dyka (Yaroslavna), Anita Rachvelishvili (Konchakovna), Sergey Semishkur (Vladimir Igorevich), Mikhail Petrenko (Prince Galitsky), Štefan Kocán (Khan Konchak)
Tcherniakov in a big Russian epic could be very interesting. One to catch I think.
Werther – Jules Massenet – March 15, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET
New Production (c)Alain Altinoglu (d)Richard Eyre
Cast: Jonas Kaufmann (Werther), Lisette Oropesa (Sophie), Elīna Garanča (Charlotte), David Bižić (Albert), Jonathan Summers (Le Bailli)
One for Massenet or JK completists I think. I’ll skip.
La Bohème – Puccini – April 5, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET
(c)Stefano Ranzani (d)Franco Zeffirelli
Cast: Anita Hartig (Mimì), Susanna Phillips (Musetta), Vittorio Grigolo (Rodolfo), Massimo Cavalletti (Marcello), Patrick Carfizzi (Schaunard), Oren Gradus (Colline), Donald Maxwell (Benoit/Alcindoro)
Così fan tutte – Mozart – April 26, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET
(c)James Levine (d)Lesley Koenig
Cast: Susanna Phillips (Fiordiligi), Isabel Leonard (Dorabella), Danielle de Niese (Despina), Matthew Polenzani (Ferrando), Rodion Pogossov (Guglielmo), Maurizio Muraro (Don Alfonso)
OK I’m a sucker for Mozart, even when conducted by Levine. I like the casting. It worries me that the Met puffery describes the production as “sleek”. A maybe
La Cenerentola – Rossini – May 10, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET
(c)Fabio Luisi (d)Cesare Lievi
Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Angelina), Juan Diego Flórez (Don Ramiro), Pietro Spagnoli (Dandini), Alessandro Corbelli (Don Magnifico), Luca Pisaroni (Alidoro)
The cast is wonderful but I can’t get excited about a conventional Cenerentola.
So for me it sums up as follows:
Must see: The Nose, Prince Igor
Maybe: Cosi, Eugene Onegin, Falstaff
Probably not: Tosca, Werther, Rusalka, La Boheme, Falstaff
It seems my goal of reducing the number of cinema broadcasts in favour of more live performances is being further furthered.