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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nixon in...Lincoln Center?

Met Announces 2010-2011 Season
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The Metropolitan Opera has unveiled its slate for 2010-2011, and it looks to be an exciting season, even if the ticket prices have gone up, 6% for subscribers, 11% for regular seat-holders. Thank God I like the sound in the Family Circle.
Tricky Dick is psyched about the new opera season.

Seven new productions will tread the boards, including a new Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, starring Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Deborah Voigt, who will sing Brunnhilde. The staging is designed by Robert Lepage as part of the Canadian director's new Ring Cycle. The complete Ring will arrive in 2012, and will hopefully not be the operatic disaster predicted by the Mayan calendar.

Other new stagings include Boris Godunov. The old staging was looking a little shopworn when the Met last produced Mussorgsky's historic tragedy. Don Carlo gets a face-lift courtesy of the Royal Opera of Covent Garden. Now, considering that the Met's classic staging of Verdi's longest opera ranked among the company's best productions, some might question the need for a new version. Also, the company will present a new La Traviata, which signals the end for Franco Zeffirelli's over-stuffed 1998 staging. Good riddance.

Two operas come to the Met stage for the first time. One is Nixon In China directed by Peter Sellars and featuring the composer, John Adams on the podium. The other is Rossini's comedy Le Comte Ory which reunites the spectacular team of Juan Diego Flórez and Diana Damrau for a bel canto sing-off. Written in 1828, this lesser-known Rossini comedy has waited 182 years to be seen in the big house on W. 64th St.

In other opera news (sorry, couldn't resist) the company will bring Sir Simon Rattle in to conduct Pelléas et Mélisande. Acclaimed period/baroque conductor William Christie, best known for his recordings of numerous Handel operas, will bring a light touch to a revival of Mozart's Così fan tutte. Other revivals to look forward to include a return of Ariadne auf Naxos, Berg's Wozzeck and the company's acclaimed staging of Simon Boccanegra with Russian super-baritone Dmitri Hvrovstovsky in the title role. Subscriptions for the Met's 2010-2011 season are currently on sale, with individual seats available starting in August.

Image © Peter Barry Chowka.
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.