Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Rossini

Today marks the 220th anniversary of the Bel-Canto genius Gioachino Rossini.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sondra Radvanovsky to Sing Aida

Sondra Radvanovsky will make her Met role debut as the title character in Verdi’s Aida on February 28, replacing Violeta Urmana, who is ill.

Khovanshchina Opened tonight

The Great Olga Borodina returned to the Met leading a Gerogian and Russian Cast in Mussorsky's masterpiece.

For more information read our preview linked here:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Pricing Structure Headlines New Met Season

Peter Gelb has tirelessly stated his intention is to expand the Met to new audiences; to younger audiences; to more diverse audiences. Time and again this is his mantra. All of his actions: new productions, HD productions, etc.  have been geared toward bringing in new Met audiences. But one area in particular does not reflect this desire in the least. 

As part of the press release, the Met announced the following: " There will be an increase in ticket prices for the new season, averaging 4.2% on subscriptions and 7.6% on single tickets. Nearly 500 tickets in certain sections, including the orchestra, dress circle, balcony, and family circle, will decrease in price. The least expensive tickets will be priced at $20, a lower price than in past seasons. More than one-third of the Met’s seats will be available for less than $100." The key here is the $20.00 bit. The lowest prices last season were $25.00 (or $27.50 when that mandatory tax is added). 

Friday, February 24, 2012

The surprises of the 2012-2013 Met season!

Every year when the Met season is announced there are always questionable casting choices, stars missing from the roster and obscure HD and production choices. This year is no exception as the season is loaded with a plethora of surprises. Here are a few.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Met's 2012-2013 season officially announced


The Met’s 2012-13 Season Features Seven New Productions (Including Two Met Premieres) and 21 Revivals.

February 23, 2012
 Anna Netrebko stars in her second Met Opening Night Gala,a new production of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore directed by Bartlett Sher

Met Brochure Leaked!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the link to the 2012-2013 season Brochure

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Met officially announces tomorrow February 23

In anticipation for tomorrow the Met has revealed this picture with all seven new productions. Can you guys guess what each picture is of? 

And while we wait here is our link to what is supposed to be the new Met season courtesy of

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Michael Grandage's new production of Don Giovanni returns tonight

Grandage's "Dull" production of Don Giovanni returns with yet another all star cast. Gerald Finley returns to his acclaimed portrait of Giovanni and is joined by Marina Rebeka who was hailed earlier this season for her elegant portrayal of Donna Anna. James Morris and Isabel Leonard also star. Andrew Davis conducts.

For more information read our read or Preview linked here:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Natalie Dessay's Traviata to be released on DVD

Natalie Dessay's second outing in the role of Violetta in La Traviata will be released on DVD this summer. The opera also stars Ludovic Tezier and Charles Castronuovo and is conducted by Louis Langree.

Natalie Dessay will appear at the Met this April in the role and will be recorded on HD.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012-13 Met Season: Full Casts

Per Iphgenie on, here is the entire Met Season for 2012-13 with Casts and all: Enjoy!

Verdi’s Aida (10)  
November 23, 26, 29, December 3, 7, 12, 15m, 19, 22, 28
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Aida: Liudmyla Monastyrska (Nov, Dec. 12, 15) / Hui He (Dec 3, 7, 19, 22, 28)
Amneris: Olga Borodina
Radamès: Marco Berti (Nov, Dec 3, 7) / Roberto Alagna (Dec 12, 15, 19, 22, 28)
Amonasro: Alberto Mastromarino (Nov, Dec 3, 7) / George Gagnidze (Dec 12, 15, 19, 22, 28)
Ramfis: Stefan Kocán
The King: Miklós Sebestyén
Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (10)
November 8, 12, 15, 19, 24, 27, 30, December 4, 8m, 14
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Amelia: Karita Mattila
Oscar: Kathleen Kim
Ulrica: Dolora Zajick (Nov 8, 12, 15, 19, 24) / Stephanie Blythe (Nov 27, 30, Dec 4, 8, 14)
Riccardo: Marcelo Álvarez (Nov 8, 12, 15, 19, 24, 30) / Roberto De Biasio (Nov 27)
Renato: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Rossini's The Barber of Seville (7)
December 18, 22m, 26m, 27, 29, January 3, 5
Conductor: Yves Abel
Rosina: Isabel Leonard
Count Almaviva: Alek Shrader
Figaro: Rodion Pogossov
Dr. Bartolo: John Del Carlo
Don Basilio: Jordan Bisch

Friday, February 17, 2012

Madama Butterfly returns

Patricia Racette returns to her signature role of Madama Butterfly. Roberto De Biasio returns after his breakthrough in Ernani and Laurent Nauori makes his awaited Met debut. The extraordinary Placido Domingo.


for more information Click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Charles Anthony 1929-2012

The comprimario tenor, veteran of 2,928 performances at the Met, died earlier today. He was 82.  His farewell performance at the Met was recorded live from HD on January 28, 2011 in the role of the King in Turandot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Met Rumors

A few days ago I printed an article about the upcoming season and the rumors behind it. Parterre has just released a schedule of the upcoming opening nights at the opera. There are no casts attached to most of them but I will give you the speculations that are being made. Remember these are all rumors.

2012: L’elisir d’amore [Netrebko ,Polenzani, Kwiecien, Gavanelli, d. Sher, c. TBA]
2013: Eugene Onegin [Netrebko, Semenchuk, Beczala, Kwiecien, d. TBA , c. Gergiev]
2014: Le nozze di Figaro [d. Grandage, c. Levine (?)]-The Speculations are Netrebko, DiNiese, Pisaroni, Mattei
2015: Der Rosenkavalier-Speculations are Mattila, Garanca, Erdman, Konig
2016: Tristan und Isolde-Speculations are Kaufmann, Westbroek, Pape, Gubanova, Volle
2017: La forza del destino-Speculations are Harteros, Kaufmann, Hvorostovsky, Pape, Aldrich, Maestri

One last note to the article seems: Its seems that the Met will no longer present Luc Bondy's disastrous production of Rigoletto. A few months ago we published an article with pictures of the production and a link to La Scala website. The website clearly stated that the production was a co production with the Met. Now La Scala only states that it is a co-production with the Vienna Festival. Its seems Parterre was right after all when they printed the rumor that Gelb would abandon the production after bad reviews.

Armiliato to the rescue

The Met press office has just announced that “Marco Armiliato will conduct Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia on February 15 and 18 matinee, replacing Maurizio Benini, who has withdrawn for personal reasons. Armiliato, who is currently conducting Verdi’sAida and Ernani, will now be conducting six out of seven Met performances this week. This is the highest number of performances for a conductor in a single week in Met history.”

Notable DVD and CD releases for the Month of February

This is a bit late but here are this months notable releases featuring some of the greatest opera houses. As a new feature I have added trailers to each of the recordings.

Up first is yet another release of Salome. This one includes the amazing soprano Angela Denoke and the exceptional Alan Held. The performance was recorded from the Baden Baden Festival and conducted by Stefan Soltesz. 

La Scala is known for recording their opening nights and later releasing them. However this Zauberflaote is the one exception. This exceptional production by William Kentridge was hailed for its surrealism and incredible use of lighting. The cast includes the superb Albina Shagimuratova as the Queen of the Night and the young tenor Samir Pirigu. Conductor Roland Boer leads the incredible La Scala Orchestra.  

C Major releases the 2010 performance of Die Entfhrung aus dem Serail starring the Mozart specialist  Diana Damrau. Damrau has been hailed for her portrayal of Kostanze for many years and it is great to finally be able to own her interpretation on DVD. The production by Christof Loy is conducted by Ivor Bolton. 

Zubin Mehta leads the orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in a new production of Aida starring Hui He, Marco Berti and the veteran mezzo Lucina D'Intino. Giacomo Prestia and Ambrogio Maestri add star power to the cast.

C major releases Dvorak's rarely performed masterpiece in a highly stylized production of Rusalka. The young Soprano Kristine Opolais demonstrates why she is being called Renne Fleming's successor as the greatest exponent of the role. The great Heldentenor Klaus Florian Vogt adds his illustrious vocal power to this production recorded from Munich.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Angela Meade in Ernani

The Met has just released a clip of Angela Meade singing "Ernani Involvami." ENJOY!

For more information on this extraordinary performer read our review.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Finley gets two Leporellos

The Met press office: “Kyle Ketelsen and Bryn Terfel will sing four performances each of the role of Leporello in the upcoming performances of Don Giovanni, replacing John Relyea who is now on vocal rest at his physician’s instructions. Ketelsen will sing the role on February 21, 24, 29, and March 3; Terfel will sing the role on March 7, 10, 14, and 17.”  
These performances are conducted by Andrew Davis and also star Gerald Finley in the title role, Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna, Ellie Dehn as Donna Elvira, Isabel Leonard as Zerlina, Matthew Polenzani as Don Ottavio,Shenyang as Masetto, and James Morris as the Commendatore.

Met Opera Review: Is Singing still King? "Ernani" says yes

By David Salazar (for 2.10.12 performance)

Is singing still king/queen of the opera world? One side of the argument would surely make an argument for opera being a consummate theatrical experience in which all elements work side by side equally; but this operatic vision is dominated by the director. The other side posits great singing as the driving force of the operatic world. The people on this side of the fence  don't like the distractions imposed by modern directors. The job of any great repertory house is balance this medium so as to please both sides of the equation. For any of those who have read my previous reviews, you likely know that I have not been particularly impressed with the Met's attempts at the former during this season. With all the new productions (minus Manon in the spring) out of the way, revivals are now dominating the Met's stage, and giving us an opportunity to truly study the case for said operatic style. Can opera remain relevant and alive as only a vocal art where all other artistic forms are used in service of the music? Is singing still king? The revival of Verdi's early "Ernani" certainly makes a good case for the affirmative.

Le Comte Ory to be released on DVD

After months of waiting, last seasons successful run of Le Comte Ory will be released on DVD. The production by Bartlett Sher stars the great Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau and Joyce Didonato. The production was conducted by Maurizio Benini and will be released by Virgin Classics.

To read our review of this thrilling work click here

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Aida returns to the Met tongiht

The lavish and grandiose production of Aida returns to the Met with Violeta Urmana, Stephanie Blythe and  Marcelo Alvarez

For more information click here for our preview .

And listen live tonight on the live stream from the Met. Give us your feedback.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Met 2012-13 Season to be announced on February 24th!

And the wait begins! According to the Met's Twitter account  the Met will announce their 2012-13 Season on Friday February 24th!

The anticipation will likely go up over coming weeks, as people start to spread rumors online. Iphegenie of provided this list:


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dalayman gets another performance

The Met Office has just announced that “Katarina Dalayman will sing the role of Brünnhilde in this evening’s performance of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, replacing Deborah Voigt, who is ill.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Will Anna Netrebko Sing Norma?

La Cieca from the blog Parterre reports that during last Saturday's performance of Anna Bolena, Netrebko told a fan backstage that she has already signed a contract at the Covent Garden to sing the title tole of Norma in 2016.  " A spokesperson for the soprano told, “I’m not at liberty to confirm whether Anna is contracted to sing Norma at Covent Garden in 2016, but I can tell you that she’s been considering taking on the role at some point in the future.” 

Will the Diva take the role on or are these simply just rumors?  One only hopes that after taking on Bolena, Netrebko goes on to sing more challenging roles. While we wait for a confirmation here are some clips of what Netrebko has already sung of the role.

If she does sing the role here is my dream cast: Netrebko, Garanca, Kaufmann and D'Arcangelo 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Met Opera Review: LePage beheads the Gods and Wagner's Magnus Opus

By David Salazar (For the January 31st, 2012 Performance)

The staging of any Ring cycle at any opera house is a pretty huge deal, and Gotterdammerung probably carries the greatest anticipation AND expectation. For many audiences, the art form of opera is synonymous with visual grandiosity and splendor, hyper drama with larger than life characters, and music that enables its audience to connect with both of these normally unfamiliar ideas. And of the all the operas in the repertoire, perhaps none other provides all of these factors multiplied many times over than Gotterdammerung. After all, few operas portray a voyage down the great Rhine River. And believe it or not, few operas have anywhere near the death count that Gotterdammerung has. And how many other operas end with the destruction of the world and its subsequent rebirth? Yes, for the uninitiated, Wagner's Gotterdammerung might be the textbook opera and then some. And for many veterans, Gotterdammerung is the height of European Romanticism and all operatic tradition.

After 3 letdowns with the first three installments of Wagner's tetralogy, Robert LePage had to put together one hell of an effort to redeem himself and his well-documented machine of 90,00 pounds and $14 million. He had steadily improved from one production to the next, but the improvements were tiny baby steps that always left one hoping for more from this state-of-the-art behemoth. In order for his Ring to be anywhere near the success that he and Met General Manager Peter Gelb anticipated, he would have to take one giant leap forward with his Gotterdammerung production.

Angela Meade returns to the Met in Ernani

Ernani opens tomorrow at the Met starring Roberto De Biasio and Angela Meade. Ferruccio Furlanetto and Dimirti Hvorostovsky also star. 

For more information please read our preview: