Bloody school. Well, my Met season, such as it was, ended a Monday or three ago with the last of les nouveaux Tritticaux. I was actually there for my little sister's graduation and P.S., NYU ed school graduation is about two parts socialist rally and one part impromptu Broadway showcase. Like I don't know how you really feel about Iraq, Steinhardt School of Education administrators. Keep it in your pants, people. Oh, and P.P.S., the ushers at Radio City Music Hall are officially the worst ushers in the city, unseating the dimwits over at Carnegie Hall. You have walkie talkies for christ's sakes. Can't you radio someone with a brain?
I'll be brief, since this is old news:
Tabarro...no doubt, mad props are due Puccini for stepping outside the box, and there are some lovely neato moments, but ultimately it just doesn't really do it for me. My first time with Maria Guleghina was a bit of an anti climax, having been promised this--she turned out to be very gentle and pitch-conscious, actually. But I suppose one can still "hope" for the oceanliner to rear its bow in Norma next year.
SA...Oh, I really do love that Suor Angelica. It's just such perfect Puccini. And with the incomparable Babs Frittoli at the helm 'twas gutwrenching vocal drama of the highest order, marred only a tad by the hot purple lighting effects in an otherwise pitch perfect lovely set. Among my very highest lights of last year's season was Babs' "Per Pieta" in the Levine Cosi Fan Tuttes, and it was wonderful to see her again. She is forgiven for bailing on the Luisa Millers, whenever that was.
GS...Meh to Gianni Scchhicchi. At the end, when G.S. talks to the audience directly and knowingly, you think for just a minute like maybe you've been watching Falstaff or Figaro and have found yourself enveloped in the warm glow of sublime comedy. And then you remember where you've actually been for the past 4 hours, and it feels kinda cheap. But whatevs. It works in its own special way. The garden thing at the end was way pretty, even if the perspective trick was totally f'd up from the famcirc.
Naturally, I didn't see as much as I would have liked to this year, residing in flyover country and whatnot, but was lucky to catch some great perfs: the towering Mattila-Jenufas; a super priddy, if accident prone, Budderfly; nice leaves/Hvorostovsky in Onegin; and the dynamite JDF in Barber. The new (old) hometown house had some great hits as well--the explosive DV Salome and haunting Carmelites of course, plus more than solid outings in Trovatore and Iphigenie. Things I missed which I shall continue kicking myself for: at the Met, the rest of the Jenufas, Helena, Don Carlo, and Meistersinger; at Lyric, the Cosi's.
That's right, I suck. But I intend to tackle this whole separate cities + lots of opera + homework thing with military precision next year...provided ATA keeps their cheapo MDW/LGA "greyhound of the skies" aloft, of course.