Monday, December 05, 2011

The week in NY opera (Dec. 5-11)

Metropolitan Opera:
Butterfly (M/F), Faust (T*/SM), Rodelinda (W/SE), Boheme (Th)
Madama Butterfly appears for the first time this season, but with Placido Domingo in the pit. He still can't conduct, and his presence in the month's-end Handel mash-up likely isn't selling any further tickets, so why is the Met still (embarrassingly) indulging him? Meanwhile with Faust and Rodelinda so imperfectly cast, the one show of note this week may be the last Boheme of the season. Sopranos Hibla Gerzmava and Susanna Phillips are marvelous therein, and though the men aren't really up to the bohemiennes' standard (lead tenor Dmitri Pittas seems either unwell or to have developed flaws in his voice he hadn't previously exhibited), they're fully in the show's spirit. Backed by Louis Langree's well- and much-shaped conducting, it's a "wet eye" run despite all flaws.
* Tuesday's (starred) Faust is the one just before this Saturday's matinee moviecast, which means that the camera equipment and lights will be out in force. Do not sit in side orchestra, front orchestra, or side parterre -- the house is not interested in optimizing patron experience on these nights, but in making the eventual broadcast go well.

Carnegie Hall:
Karita Mattila recital (SE)
Even if the material (French stuff, Sallinen, and Joseph Marx) isn't necessarily that interesting, Mattila herself always is.

DiCapo Opera Theatre:
Iolanta (Th/SE)
A new production of Tchaikovsky's one-act opera.

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Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.