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Met 2013-2014 Season Analysis Part 4: What to Expect from mid-March Through the End of the Season

Here is the final round (You can find rounds 1,2, &3 ) of Met predictions just in time for the Met Opening Night tomorrow! As per tradition, I’ll liveblog tomorrow’s performance. In the afternoon, I’ll put out a list of ways you can enjoy the Met Opening Night with some opinions in advance. I’ll post again just after the radio coverage that starts before, during both intermissions, and after the performance. I also live tweet the entire thing on my twitter. Now, let’s begin!

La Sonnambula: The Met is presenting the three Bellini operas this season. I’m not totally sure why, but it’s happening. That Mary Zimmerman production comes back, but the cast is pretty great. Diana Damrau is Amina. It’s a role she’s sung before and probably should have retired by now. It would be great to see Eglise Gutierrez sing the part, but Damrau is a good second. Javier Camarena, the FANTASTIC bel-canto tenor (And successor to Juan Diego Florez…?) is Elvino. Michele Pertusi is Rodolfo. Marco Armiliato conducts. You can see Natalie Dessay sing the Sleepwalking Scene in the same production below.

Andrea Chénier: You can say a lot about Patricia Racette. You could even say that Maddalena is probably going to be a stretch, vocally, for her. However, you can’t say that she doesn’t give a 110% in her performances and that they usually pack an emotional punch. She’s a superior actress and a consummate performer. That’s why I would consider seeing this opera. Marcelo Alvarez is the French poet, in a role that should fit him well. Gerard is the steely baritone, Zeljko Lucic. Giandrea Noseda conducts the run in a revival of Nicholas Joel’s production.

Arabella: Arabella returns to the Met for the first time in over ten years. The revival was supposedly mounted for Anja Harteros, but she pulled out a few years in advance. Swedish soprano, Malin Byström, who I’d never heard of, takes her place. Roberto Saccà and Michael Volle, both singers with whom I’m not in the least familiar with, are Matteo and Mandryka. Zdenka is Genia Kühmeier, another singer I don’t know. Otto Schenk’s production returns, and Philippe Augin conducts. I’m really not prepared for this revival. I have some homework to do before April!

I Puritani: This is, without a doubt, a vehicle for the fantastic Olga Peretyatko to make her debut at the Met with. The soprano has a gorgeous voice and has (on video, at least) a charming stage presence. Bel-canto tenor, Lawrence Brownlee, one of my personal favorites, is Arturo. Mariusz Kweicien and Michele Pertusi are Riccardo and Giorgio, in one of the best cast revivals of the season. Sandro Sequi’s production with sets by Ming Cho Lee returns again. You can say what you want about the production, but it’s hard to deny that the sets harken back to the type of productions Callas sang in at La Scala. I think that that’s pretty cool. Michele Mariotti conducts.

La Cenerentola: The Met has been under no Joyce DiDonato shortage. She has sung most of her major roles there (Cherubino, Rosina, Isolier, Maria Stuarda, etc.), but New York is yet to hear her Cenerentola, possibly her signature role. She’ll be sure to dazzle in the part. I’ve heard that she might be retiring the role soon, so it’s extra exciting that she’ll be singing it in New York. Oh, it gets better. Juan Diego Florez, one of her most frequent collaborators, is the Principe Ramiro. Pietro Spagnoli is Dandini and the basso-buffo, Alessandro Corbelli, is Don Magnifico. The other base role, Alidoro, is sung by the fantastic Luca Pisaroni. As Zerbinetta said, “It’ll be LIKABLE!” Fabio Luisi conducts. IdDonato kicks butt in “Non Piu Mesta” below.

The season is, notably, missing Wagner. While it is a shame, I do think that it’s justified. New York has been exposed to the Ring for three consecutive seasons now, and we had Parisfal last season. While it would have been nice to see a new production of the Tannhauser or Lohengrin, I can understand the notable lack of Wagner this season.

Also, Vittorio Grigolo has a recital. I’m not sure why.

There you have it! The Met season. Check back for tomorrow afternoon for some Met Opening Night fun!

Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

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2 comments on “Met 2013-2014 Season Analysis Part 4: What to Expect from mid-March Through the End of the Season

  1. Michael Volle and Ghenia Kühmeier are both AMAZING. Saw them in the same roles in Paris last summer (with NéeNée as Arabella).

  2. Chenier may not be a great opera, but I have great nostalgia for it. Racette wouldn’t be my first choice, but I liked her Tosca, so who knows. At any rate it’s a great ‘mature’ diva role, plenty of time to warm up through the not-so-taxing first two acts before the big moments: the aria and final duet. Milanov sang it until the very end – literally – and I fondly recall many late-career Tebaldi performances (some with a baby Domingo). I also can’t think of Chenier without remembering a great big in Robert Merrill’s (ghost-written) novel “The Divas,” in which an Anna Moffo-based soprano who has basically lost her voice fulfilling a contract by singing Maddalena. She figures she can ‘fake’ the first two acts, then she plans to feign a collapse just before the aria’s climax. It’s all silly, but great fun, the three title divas based on Moffo, Eleanor Steber and another I can’t recall at the moment. If you don’t know it, you should give it a try. Lots of cheap used copies here it seems: http://www.amazon.com/The-Divas-Robert-Merrill/dp/0425044327

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