Saturday, July 18, 2009

Met Player

I have begun to look into the Met Player, found on the Metropolitan Opera web site. I realize that this puts me way behind the curve.

It's cheaper than buying a lot of DVDs and cheaper than attending the HD broadcasts which generally run about $20.00. For 1 week it is free, so you need to plan ahead to watch a lot of stuff. After that it's $4 to $5 a pop. You would launch these and watch them on your computer.

I have been told that it is possible to download from this site. Then you could watch them over and over, making this a real bargain.  You will need to have sufficient bandwidth.

The currently available repertoire is 68 operas. (I am ignoring the audio.) The choices are mainstream so far, and include all the HD broadcasts to date, including the ones I missed the first time they played. I don't notice Elīna Garanča's Cenerentola. They are showing the Bartoli version instead.

Eugene Onegin, Fidelio, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, I Puritani and Francesca da Rimini I own on DVD. I like all five of them and love Fidelio, Onegin and Francesca da Rimini.

I'm pretty sure without conducting extensive research that I also have 18 more of these performances on VHS. Or maybe more. I have Aidas by both Price and Millo. I have Susannas with both Battle and Bartoli. I have The Ring cycle with James Morris and Tristan with Ben Heppner. I have some of Pavarotti's best work ever in Trovatore and Ernani. I have Freni's Fedora and Ramey's Don Giovanni. Don't miss Les Troyens with Domingo, Troyanos and Norman. These are all wonderful. They are selecting the cream.

Does that leave much of interest? Now that I no longer hate Simon Boccanegra I would be interested to see the Milnes version. In 1984 he would have been at his peak.

It is somewhat surprising to see 5 performances by Renata Scotto in this list, but only one Freni, I think. If I'm wrong then kick me. Perhaps Scotto is viewed more strongly in retrospect. Her performances are some of the oldest included here. She does both Mimi and Musetta as well as Francesca, Manon Lescaut and Louisa Miller. I suspect that Gelb likes her. I like her, too, but not more than Freni. I might like to see some of these.

I would love to see Tatiana Troyanos as Santuza and Pavarotti as Nemorino. I would certainly like to see Taymor's Magic Flute. Domingo's Queen of Spades might also be interesting.

To really arouse my imagination they will have to dig a little deeper into their catalog. I apologize for being a philistine and not being interested in the audio.

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