Tag Archives: Met Opera

Oh Susanna! Idiots at the Opera Go To Le Nozze di Figaro

Richard Eyre’s new production of Mozart’s Le Nozzi di Figaro, set in the 1930s, opened the Met season with glowing reviews. The original cast including Ildar Abrazakov, who triumphed last year as Prince Igor. He triumphed again as Figaro, and Susan Leonard who went on to sing Rosina in this season’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, won raves for her Cherubino.

We’d seen a lackluster revival of Jonathan Miller’s Figaro a couple of years ago, and didn’t run out to this one, but I finally made it (without the better-half) on Thursday, and thanks to the Met’s FANTASTIC new rush program, I got to sit with the swells IN FRONT of the overhang for little more than the price of a movie ticket.

Barihunk Schrott
Barihunk Schrott
The world's coolest soprano.

All but two of the featured roles have been recast since the opening, but the singers worked so well together and seemed so comfortable, not only singing but with with the dancing and physical comedy that they might have been performing with each other for years. Bass-baritone Erwin Schrott proved his true barihunk chops as Figaro. Mariusz Kwiecien played the sleazy count with petulance and more than a hint of danger. We’d seen him as an aimless Eugene Onegrin in last year’s dreadful production, so it was great to see him get into the groove here. Making her Met debut, Serena Malfi was a scene stealer as Cherubino, really enjoying the physicality of playing a boy. Her voice was faultless. I can’t imagine her NOT becoming a Met favorite within the next few years. Rachel Willis Sorensen sang the Countess. She was no slouch at the physical comedy either, but for all of the antics she brought the heart into the evening. When she sang the Act III aria, Dove Sono, lamenting the mysterious loss of love, off-stage tears may have been shed. The world’s coolest soprano, Danielle de Niese sang Susanna. I’ve seen her live twice, as Ariel in The Enchanted Island and as Continue reading Oh Susanna! Idiots at the Opera Go To Le Nozze di Figaro

Opera Beyond the Met — New York Opera Exchange and More!

Tonight marks our final season ticket outing at the Met. We’re off to see Cosi Fan Tutte, and I’ll be back to tell you how it was.

This doesn’t end opera season for us. We’re planning to do rush tix this week for La Cenerentola, which will probably be our last Met outing till the fall. But that’s not all folks. Although the City Opera is dead, opera for the people isn’t. In addition to the cheap seats always available at the Met, there are other options for us latter day groundlings.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring a couple of them. Tomorrow I’m going to the final performance of Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Manhattan College of Music in bucolic Morningside Heights. Though we live in the neighborhood, I hadn’t heard a thing about this, until I stumbled onto something in The New Yorker. They need to do a better job of letting the neighbors know. Posters would be nice. It’s a student cast, and it sounds like an interesting take. There aren’t a lot of tickets left, but what they got is going for $30 for regular folk and $15 for students and seniors. The website was a little tricky to manevever. I kept winding up at a link that said the service wasn’t available. However, if you click here to the calendar and from there click onto the May 4th event, you should be able to order tickets for tomorrow’s performance. Selection is limited, so good luck!

The other cool thing we discovered is The New York Opera Exchange, which sounds almost like City Opera on a shoestring. It features emerging artists in interesting productions. They’ve apparently been around since 2012. Performances happen at a couple of different venues. We’re going to be seeing a production of La Traviata because you can never see that one enough times. It’s being performed in midtown at a church. It’s  set in “the rubble of post-Mussolini Italy” with Alfredo as an American GI. There are several performances in May. Tickets can be purchased online and all seats are $30. Sounds like fun and I will totally let you know, but since performances start 5/9, and we’re not going till the end of the run, don’t wait for our take.

(Seriously, Marion is busy editing her next great novel, and can hardly afford even the cheap seats these days. There’s no donation link because she’s just too proud, but you could help support her opera habit — and these informative posts– by checking out her work, including this acclaimed novella for less than a buck!)