Saturday, 14 March 2009

The alternative MET Anniversary Gala

I hereby present "The alternative Metropolitan Opera Anniversary Gala" introducing 10 top artists: 8 singers, 1 director and 1 conductor. All active today enjoying high-profile careers - everywhere else but at The Met. All artists have in common that they have never appeared at the Met, for more, or rather less, obvious reasons.

Artists known (at least to me) to make their debuts in upcoming seasons such as Miah Persson, Annette Dasch, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Nadja Michael etc. are excluded.

Anna Caterina Antonacci as Carmen:

Emily Magee as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung:

Veronique Gens as Donna Elvira:

Anne Schwanewilms as Carlota in Die Gezeichneten:

Anna Larsson in the Mahler 3rd symphony with Claudio Abbado:

Irene Théorin as Turandot:

Petra Lang as Venus:

Johan Reuter in Maskarade:

And the conductor Mariss Jansons with the director Martin Kusej in Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk:

13 comments:

Beckmesser said...

A great post Mostly, full of humour, and introducing (to me!) quite a few fine singers I'd never heard before.
I just wondered: what do you mean by "for more, or rather less, obvious reasons" ? Any precise idea why some of them don't sing at the Met ?

Lidia said...

Gran seleccion

Thank you

Bogda said...

Wow. Fantastic post, great idea. I'm really suprpised to see that some of these artist have never appeared at the Met. Especilly Mariss Jansons.

Though to be honest, Met has lost it's pole position in the opera world long time ago. so it's no that suprising

marcillac said...

Agree with all of the above comments. Might add that there are singers who have previously sung at the Met, in some instances on numerous occasions, had great success and for inexplicable reasons have not been invited back in recent years. (It is possible they might have turned the invitations down, but while they may be established artists - very comprable to some on you list - they are not, I don't think, sufficiently prominent to turn down invitations from the Met).

mostly opera... said...

In my opinion, though the MET may not be a front-line venue regarding innovative approaches to opera, it is still the operatic venue in the world where most A list singers appear during one season.
Regarding the specific artists I mentioned, some of them may well be scheduled for future performances: Johan Reuter is still at the onset of his career and I am certain he will at some point appear; Anna Larsson virtually only sings one role on stage (Erda); Anna Caterina Antonacci was to have appeared at one point and may well appear again; I wouldn´t be surprised to see Iréne Théorin, whose international career is also expanding rapidly, as Brünnhilde or Turandot; Emily Magee, Veronique Gens and Petra Lang I find harder to explain.

Regarding conductors, the Met has increased the efforts to attract high-quality guest conductors and many current top names have never performed there (Daniel Barenboim making his debut only earlier this season, just to mention one). One of the reasons probably being the general excellence of James Levine.

A more malicious list to make would be one of artists whom the Met keeps rehiring for major parts though they by most standards are rather dull. Also the Met audiences seem to accept singers with a such physiques, that would not be accepted in most European houses and generally the vocal vs. drama quotient is much higher than in European houses, as I see it.

a said...

My only experience of the Met being the radio or HD broadcasts. It would seem that they keep big names on long after they are past their best!

They also seem to be slow in picking up people who are going down a storm in Europe. eg They only started with Algana when, to be honest, he was past his best.

Of course it would be completely scurrilous to suggest that opera goers are as likely to see anyone as big or bigger on the way to the house as on the stage !

Henry Holland said...

The biggest problem with the Met, other than their excruciatingly dull choices in repertoire, is that the actual opera house is an airport hangar. Years ago, I'd heard John Tomlinson at the Met as Guernemanz and he sound bad: wobbly, shouty etc. A few years after that, I heard him in the same role at the Staatsoper unter den Linden --which is about 1/3 the size of the Met-- and he didn't have to force or anything and he was glorious. Oh, and Barenboim conducted a Parsifal for the ages too! :-)

Hugo Valdivia said...

well, i have more respect now for those who have not sing at met.. i can feel respet for an audience that clap in veryact of every opera even when the production is performed for 20 years...

Anonymous said...

and PATRIZIA CIOFI !!!

mostly opera... said...

Of course Patrizia Ciofi should have been there. My mistake, sorry..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including the 'Maskerade' clip - I attended the premier of this production in November 2006, and Reuter was outstanding from his very first note. Of course the Operan in Holmen only seats about 1450, so I don't know if his vocal impact will be as great if he ever does sing inside Sybil's Barn...

Anonymous said...

What about Anja Kampe as Senta??? have you read the reviews of her Covent Garden debut? Seems to appear in L.A. and Washington but not at the Met...

mostly opera... said...

Of course.
However, I have only heard Anja Kampe once, as Senta, in Munich and somehow she didn´t leave that big an impression..

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