Every year I rank that year's simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera, but this year I seem to be having some difficulty. Nothing completely thrilled and nothing completely failed either.
The new operas for me are an amusing collection: The Tempest, Maria Stuarda and Parsifal. Since seeing The Tempest, I have seen and read quite a bit about the Shakespeare play, a work entirely from the playwright's imagination and his last work. In spite of this the opera text was not by Shakespeare, a flaw surely.
A friend prefers Maria Stuarda with Maria as the soprano and Elizabeth as the mezzo. I know that Joyce DiDonato, our Maria, has sung Elizabeth, but I have no basis for comparison.
Really only the end of Parsifal was new, since in the past I always left before that. It was musically quite wonderful and a great pleasure.
The Met is gradually drifting into the mainstream of 21st century opera productions, though if I loved something, it was probably for the singing. Looking back at the list, my favorites would have to be Matthew Polenzani in Elixir of Love, Elīna Garanča in Clemenza di Tito and everyone in Ballo in Maschera. Ballo has to get the top ranking for that rarest of all operatic events--great Verdi.
Bad. I can't get excited about Botha no matter what he sings. Also, I love opera seria and don't care to see it turned into a joke as I felt Giulio Cesare was. This production is very popular on Amazon.
Perhaps I'm becoming jaded.
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