Friday, March 17, 2017

Met Man

Anna Moffo, La Traviata, Giuseppi Verdi 

Leontyne Price, Antony and Cleopatra, Samuel Barber 

Two nights in a row, I went to the Met. The first night I saw (funny that we don't say heard) Werther and then Idomeneo—which was Mozart's first opera. The first night I sat in the orchestra and then in the front row balcony on the second night. Guess where the better sound was? Upstairs near the ceiling. No surprise there. Guess which show was more dramatic? Werther. And I had to smile: for all the money spent, the dramatic high point was a simple light cue that revealed blood on the wall. Lots of it. Unseen until the stage manager did her/his thing. 

Interesting to be sitting in the house and not performing onstage as I did for five years running—a very different perspective. You see and hear things differently. God, I thought—not for the first time: "I should be a director. Why the hell is he having the tenor circle around that table during his big moment? It's distracting." 

Levine conducted the Mozart and I wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing at first—and didn't even know he was in the pit—I must confess—until I heard the record skip several times. Looking down—I saw, yeah, that's him—and realized that the orchestra was having a bit of a problem following him. However, they seemed to get their act together as the night wore on. The singers did not seem to not have much of a problem. They went. He followed.

The tenor Matthew Polezani sang like a god, and a young soprano by the name of Nadine Sierra (she's 28) made quite an impression. Gorgeous voice. 

I came home happy to having gotten out of the news cycle. 

Musicke for while let all our hearts beguile.

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