Archive for September 30th, 2008

by Sam Juliano

     The 2008-09 season is now underway at the Metropolitan Opera, as the schedule kicked off early last week with the staging of Richard Strauss’ Salome, in a production that has been showcased at the opera house for several years.  Karita Mattila has won wide praise for playing the central title role.  Both Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and Mozart’s Don Giovanni have already been staged, with both still having a number of performances left in the upcoming weeks.  The Metropolitan is at the center of an exterior cosmetic facelift this season as the center fountain and courtyard between the world-famous opera house and both Avery Fisher Hall and the New York State Theatre.  As a result, unseemly wooden barriers obscure the the ornate structure’s front facade, and will probably remain for several months.  Wonders in the Dark will be there for a number of this year’s offerings, which contain an attractive mix of the traditional warhorses and some brand new productions.  The schedule, which will run through May, includes a generous number of performances of the following operas:

Salome (Richard Strauss)

La Gioconda (Amare Ponchielli)

La Boheme (Giacomo Puccini)

Cavalleria Rusticanna/Pagliacci (Mascagni-Leoncavallo)

La Cenerentola (Rossini)

La Damnation de Faust (Hector Berlioz)

Doctor Atomic (John Adams)

Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)

Gotterdammerung (Richard Wagner)

Lucia di Lammermoor (Gaetano Donizetti)

Madama Butterfly (Puccini)

The Magic Flute (Mozart)

Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck)

The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky)

Das Rheingold (Richard Wagner)

La Rondine (Puccini)

Rigoletto (Verdi)

Rusalka (Dvorak)

Siegried (Richard Wagner)

La Sonnambula (Bellini)

Thais (Massanet)

Tristan und Isolda (Richard Wagner)

La Traviata (Verdi)

Die Walkure (Richard Wagner)

Although I have seen every one of the these operas except for three (Doctor Atomic, Thais, La damnation de Faust) at the Met over the years, I plan on seeing some of the new productions of some of these timeless masterpieces, and reviewing them for Wonders in the Dark.  In a year of cosmetic transition it is clear that the Met is taking few gambles, and is mainly going with the traditional works that fill all the seats.  I am still excited about the new season, and plan to see Salome sometime over the next week.

Read Full Post »