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The Met Saturday Morning Broadcasts are back.....

11951 Views 347 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Woodduck
Starting this Saturday at 10 pst, 1:00 est
Opening broadcast.....

December 10, 2022
Kevin Puts’ The Hours

New Production/Met Premiere
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Renée Fleming (Clarissa Vaughan), Kelli O’Hara (Laura Brown), Joyce DiDonato (Virginia Woolf), Kathleen Kim (Barbara / Mrs. Latch), Sylvia D’Eramo (Kitty / Vanessa), Denyce Graves (Sally), John Holiday (Man Under the Arch / Hotel Clerk), William Burden (Louis), Sean Panikkar (Leonard Woolf), Kyle Ketelsen (Richard), Brandon Cedel (Dan Brown)

Discuss them here :)
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Do you please have the link to the broadcasts ?
Do I also have Helena Dix on Slovak radio ???
If you’re listening to the Metropolitan Opéra broadcast today, yes.
Yes, it was her, they named the cast after it all ended.
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I'm curious about the timezone difference--at what time did it start and finish for you?

- Is it Sunday yet?
We still have Saturday, it is 20:22 now for me.
The transmission started at 17:00 and ended a while ago.
But I didn't know about this unusual early start, caught only the section starting with "Si, ei tornera".

But now I am catching Norma and Adalgisa duetting from California :D
So did I. Then my brain went to "Bernini," but I didn't feel ecstatic so I knew that had to be wrong.
What exactly are your visions of Bernini, when you are extatic ?

The conductor was really in bad sync with the singers.

Unlike @nina foresti I liked the Norma - Adalgisa duet and regretted that my maternal duties prevent me from listening in peace. But also, that is the part of the opera I know comparatively less, so my expectations are not very specific.

The finale felt dissatisfying. There, on the contrary, I know the lyrics by heart, and sometimes, the words simply did not appear where they should be. Especially by Helen Dix. She is Australian, hmm..., maybe after she stays in Italy a few times, it will get fixed.

I like generally like Spyres as Pollione, but here not that much. I recommend his part in this recording from the French festival: Norma de Bellini avec Karine Deshayes au Festival d’Aix 2022
For Pollione, i personally prefer Del Monaco.
He is dead, but Stefan Pop, the contemporary singer, sounds like he had been listening to the Del Monaco's recordings. Similar accents and it feels very satisfying to me. He is my favorite. Why is he not better known ? Any terrible fault which I do not catch as an amateur ?

I also would like to know, how much time did Helen Dix have to rehearse Norma. Her words were beyond a bad diction, I came to conclusion she simply couldn"t have known her text well. But she did sing Norma somewhere else before, didn't she ? And at Met - was it her first or second time ?
And why were people facing away from the Norma for the first half and then suddenly turn to the center of the stage?
Norma is often done this way :D . In the first part, the crowd doesn't hear what Norma and Pollione are telling each other. Such turning away of the crowd indicates this fact. In the second part of this section, however, the crowd starts to interact with Norma, so they turn towards her.

Sometimes, there is even the second round of turning back and forth, because the crowd doesn't hear Norma tell her father that she has children and wants him to protect them.

People often say, Norma is "oratorial".
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. And that clips seems like from the 2000s or something.
Good point. This is the most recent Pollione by Stefan Pop I could find:
Ohh... but i wonder if there is another option though 🤔 coz if i see it for the first time, i certainly would find that a little strange.
An eternal challenge for the stage directors.

More often, there is this "fra se" moment in Italian opera, where just one character sings for himself or herself, and the people around do not hear it. At my lecture, the teacher said, this is specific to European opera. Chinese opera did not come up with something so silly :D

The directors do all kinds of stuff. In Norma, they even sometimes display the kids for everybody to see, but that doesn't match the libretto. According to libretto, children are absent, the crowd has no clue they exist, and people wonder, why Norma is suddenly kneeling in front of her father.
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The voice seems to lose of the freshness and purrity of pitch compared to the earlier clip. But i really can't erase the sound of Del Monaco out of my mind though. I would want him (Pop) to work on his pitch and sing the Duke in Rigoletto and Rodolfo in Boheme.
He sang the Duke. I assume, he sang Rodolfo as well, but not so sure about that.
Forgive my naivete, coz i've never been to the opera. But do you think this can be resolved with lighting? Like before Qual cor tradisti, Oroveso makes a gesture and orders Druids to simply move to the back of the stage and away from the trio (Nor, Pol and Oro) while all 3 of them advance slightly to the front of the stage and stay close together with most of the lighting on them and just a little bit on the druid in the background? And Oroveso can order all of them to go into the light later when he wants? What do you think?
I cannot quite imagine what you mean, but light changes are sometimes used as well.
Yes kinda like this 🤣 but in this, the guy would be replaced by the trio, with most of the lighting on them, and the 2 ladies here representing the Druids, would fade into the background with just a little light on them. That keeps the Druids "in the dark" about the secret children of Norma, literally and metaphorically. And the trio, instead of having "a strange interlude", would have a "qual cor tradisti" 🤣
Technically, Norma's Daddy doesn"t hear "Qual cor tradisti" so he is in the dark together with the other druids. He, however hears "Deh non volerli vittime". The crowd doesn't, only sees Norma kneeling. Pollione does not hear her either, only has an idea of the topic, and watches anxiously the gestures from the "distance". He comments from his spot like "He (Oroveso) seems moved now. Yes ! Yes ! It worked ! Hurrah !"
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Weird weird world but I feel like I’m having deja vu, all over again!!!(for folks, not in America that’s a Yogi Berra joke!) Last year I went to Rigoletto and was thrilled to hear Kelsey, give, at long last, a performance by a real Rigoletto. I used that to defend him as people responded to his broadcast with lots of negative texts. It was quite a bit before I got to hear the recorded scenes and lo and behold they were indeed quite different from what I experienced live. He was at a different level on the recorded stuff and much less up to the task. Reason, who knows, but to these ears it was a fact. Now we have Lohengrin in which Beczala and Grossbeck sounded terrific live, got the house going and did quite well in the papers and here we have the same decidedly unenthusiastic take by a group with credible ears! I’m going to go looking and see if In Fernem Land exists on YouTube. In the house Beczala was at
minimum, outstanding!
A bad sound engineer ?
Are we ready for Rosenkava;ier ?
After the last Norma, I ask myself, if I should entrust MET with my first Rosenkavalier ever.
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If I were inclined to give advice I would advise against it. Fortunately I'm not so inclined.
The Slovak radio Devín, which sometimes broadcasts the MET performances, decided to play Rosenkavalier today.
However, instead of MET, they are offering the version with Christa Ludwig, Lucia Popp, Gwyneth Jones and Walter Berry, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.
Were they also impressed by the last Norma ? :unsure:
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Did anyone else receive today's hypoallergenic floral delivery? Surely there was some curiosity about La Davidsen? While I wait, then, a few remarks designed to raise some hackles, if anyone here has hackles.

Strauss and Hofmannsthal must have had long discussions, and possibly arguments, about what kind of work Rosenkavalier was going to be. Unfortunately for me, I can't tell what they decided. They didn't title the work The Obnoxious Suitor, but in light of the amount of time Baron Ochs is on stage and mouthing off about God knows what, they probably should have. When I think of the opera, I think first of the final fifteen minutes, including the glorious trio, and of the scene of the presentation of the rose. After that I think of the erotic orchestral prelude to the first act, of the Marschallin standing before her mirror philosophizing about getting old, of the beautiful aria of the Italian singer, and of a few other passages, mainly from the first act. These bits create the special, fragrant romance of the work - the scent of the rose - but taken together they probably constitute less than an hour of music. Unfortunately, there are two and a half more hours that Strauss chose to fill with something. And it seems to me that the main thing he filled them with is words, and with a sort of music which has little purpose or value but to give those words something to be sung to. That in itself is a problematic choice for an opera composer, but when a high proportion of the words come out of a character whose principal trait and reason for being is his boorishness, the composer's choice is worse than problematic.

I will always contend that opera is fundamentally a musical form. This implies that the composer is king, and that all other contributors to the effect of an opera do best when they serve the unique requirements of music. Mozart believed and asserted this, Wagner learned it pretty quickly when he got his head out of his Gesamtkunstwerk theorizing, and Verdi never questioned it as he told his librettists what his music needed. But, based on my hearing of his operas, I doubt that Strauss understood it. The composer who believed he could set tableware to music seems to have thought he could make an effective opera out of virtually unlimited verbiage, and he found in Hofmannsthal a librettist sufficiently enamored of his own literary fecundity to let Strauss do it. The result, in Rosenkavalier, is that in between the great passages of lyricism we have long stretches of time which Strauss has to fill with orchestral busy work of a sort that no composer would bother to produce if the concept of through-composed opera didn't require that all words, necessary to the plot or not, be set to music. If it were the Marschallin doing most of the talking, the music in question might at least be beautiful. But it isn't that gracious lady who holds the stage for the greater part of this opera.

Connoisseurs of opera libretti, if there are such, may disagree vehemently with me when I say that Rosenkavalier would be a much better opera if the character of Ochs occupied less than half the stage time he actually does occupy, which would leave us having to listen to less than half of whatever it is he's grunting about. We listen to opera mainly for the musical, and specifically the sung, expression of dramatic emotion, not for verbal eloquence and wit. That's the province of spoken drama, and musical drama does it much less well. The most successful opera composers understood this. It's a tribute to Strauss's musical skill that his works are as effective as they are despite his failure to understand it.

The beauties of Rosenkavalier are captivating, but having to keep company with Baron Ochs while waiting for them to arrive is torture. I've done my duty today, and probably won't listen to the opera again until the next broadcast brings a new group of singers whom I can compare unfavorably to the last group.
You don't seem to specifically complain about singing though. Did you like the parts you know and love ? People on facebook were pleased, maybe I needn't have overreacted to that infamous Norma and could have listened.
Anyone else listening to Idomeneo? Interesting score.
I am listening. If it is the one they play on right now.
I like it. What is it that I think I have against Mozart ? It sounds like a normal romantic opera to me right now. Not annoying classicist manners.
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