Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ranking the Simulcasts 2011-12

I am not going to be able to rank the simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera because nothing hit it out of the park for me this year.

I adored The Enchanted Island with Joyce DiDonato, and I liked very much Rodelinda with Renée Fleming, but, nevertheless, they are Baroque operas, and how far can you really go with that?

Mozart was well represented by Magic Flute with Nathan Gunn (I'm counting it because it was new for me) and Don Giovanni with Mariusz Kwiecien. I liked Flute for the production, but nothing really wowed me.

Bel canto was represented by Anna Bolena with Anna Netrebko.  Verdi was represented by Ernani with Angela Meade and La Traviata with Natalie Dessay.  What can I say?  Anna was too heavy, Angela was too blah, and Natalie was a disaster such as seldom happens at the Met.  I think Anna Bolena just missed.

Jay Hunter Morris saved both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung and became the sexiest Wagnerian since Peter Hoffmann, or perhaps ever.  I liked the bird in the production, but that's about it.  I continue to regret missing the San Francisco Ring.

Saryagraha is more of an event than an opera.  I liked it, but it isn't really in the running.

That leaves Manon with Anna Netrebko and Faust with Jonas Kaufmann.  Jonas isn't really the main character in Faust, despite the title, and I wasn't really crazy about Marina.  Good but no cigar.  I liked it better in Santa Fe.

That leaves Anna Netrebko as the Manon for the ages.  I love this performance so much.  The peak experience is the DVD.  Buy one.  Anna's problem for the rest of her career is going to be the trail of DVDs she has left behind.

This is a sample of the "Elizabeth Taylor" scene.

When it's Saturday, and there's no opera, I feel empty and disappointed.  I'm looking forward to next season.

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