Monday, October 11, 2010

Sooner or later

Notwithstanding all the cast changes covered in last month's season preview post, the biggest personnel change of the Met season will be on display tonight, as the new Boris Godunov premieres with Stephen Wadsworth as director instead of Peter Stein. Wadsworth's pros and cons aside, it's surely better to have Rene Pape doing the version he's done before instead of staring all night at the prompter (as he's done for new roles in the past).

I'm still boycotting Gergiev, so I won't see the show for some weeks. Readers are, of course, welcome to offer their thoughts before that in the comments below.

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This Met season had barely begun when more news began to leak of the following years' plans. Besides, of course, the Robert Lepage Ring parts 3 and 4 -- which, given the planned use of the same high-tech unit set for all four operas, should be reasonably low-hassle -- the most striking bit might be the inevitability Sondra Radvanovsky fans have been either awaiting or dreading for years: Norma, two seasons from now. She's certainly more vocally equipped than her recent predecessors, but the show's whole success may depend on finding a Pollione who ignites her dramatic fire the way Dmitri Hvorostovsky does.

UPDATE (9PM): I really should read the news more often. Legendary Norma Joan Sutherland died yesterday.

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Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.