Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Met in HD vs. Life (Plus the New Season and Wagner Monologues)

Wagner Monologues: When exactly did Richard Wagner stop writing operas that open in mid-action (Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin), and start writing operas that open with lots of narration (Parsifal, any Ring Opera)? I am sure I could figure this out with a little bit of research.

...vs. Life: But the point of the question today is the inconvenience I created for myself, and what kind of workaround I can make. I scheduled the big Lenten church choir rehearsal for this Saturday 10 – 1. And guess what else is happening (starting at noon) this Saturday? That’s right, JK in Parsifal.

It’s usually frowned upon when the choir director skips his own rehearsal. So I was thinking, well, the first half of Act 1 is basically Gurnemanz telling all the knight-lings what happened before the curtain went up. How much (besides Rene Pape’s gorgeous voice) am I really going to miss? And really, the Prelude alone is about a half-hour long (I know—I’m exaggerating a little.)

You couldn’t be 45 minutes late to The Flying Dutchman, or Lohengrin, or any Mozart opera for that matter (except maybe La Finta Giardiniera) and be able to catch up. But I’m thinking it might work with Parsifal. 

On the other hand, I could just go home and collapse after rehearsal (as usual). Then I could get tickets for the Wednesday encore performance in a few weeks, rest up at work before the performance that day, and actually see the entire opera. 

The Met in HD: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: next year I'm putting the Met in HD dates on my calendar first! Speaking of which: Here is a link  to the Metropolitan Opera's Online Brochure for 2013/2014 (courtesy of Thomas Hampson.)

And here is the Met in HD schedule for next season:
(Courtesy of IntermezzoNow, where's my calendar?)

Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin
October 5, 2013
Shostakovich The Nose
October 26, 2013
Puccini Tosca
November 9, 2013
Verdi Falstaff
December 14, 2013
Dvořák Rusalka
February 8, 2014
Borodin Prince Igor
March 1, 2014
Massenet Werther
March 15, 2014
Puccini La Bohème
April 5, 2014
Mozart Così fan tutte
April 26, 2014
Rossini La Cenerentola
May 10, 2014


  1. On the next season HD... Oh, for the sake of everything holy, seriously? Tosca and Boheme, but no Strauss, Two Boys or Britten?
    The rest (besides Così) looks fine to me though, but it's still pretty disappointing.

    1. Really, I am surprised by both too. Of course the Boheme (opera and production both) is a classic and will sell sell sell! Tosca too, even though the production is ... um... less than optimal.

    2. One would think that Rosenkavalier would sell enough with such a cast, and this being the 100th anniversary of its premiere would earn it the HD instead of Tosca but oh well...

    3. They definitely seem to be playing it safe with these choices.

    4. I admit I am more excited about the singers than the operas in many cases. OTOH I have not seen "live" performances of most of them, so while I'd like to see the Britten, Arabella, and Wozzeck on the list, I still will try to see most of the ones they ARE presenting. And maybe plan a field trip to NYC.

    5. On the plus side, personally, the lack of things I need to see at the Met next season means more brass available for events in the provinces this summer.

  2. The British saying "bums on seats" comes to mind.

    1. How true! Well, after all, it's a business as well as an art. *sigh*

  3. The more I look at this the more I think it's a change of strategy. Consider
    - 10 performances instead of 12
    - 3 productions (4 titles) that have already been seen in HD
    - Most boring line up ever
    - Gelb's "cannibalization" comment

    I think they have decided that this is the optimum package for the people who will never make the effort to go "live" and will have the least impact on their meatspace audience. What I can't quite fathom is why they don't just black out the Greater NYC area though I suppose that would be criticised as uncollegial by other companies.


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