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Metropolitan Opera 2013-2014 Season

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Today there is an AP story that the Met Opera is cutting prices 10% due to a slump in sales:


In one mention, somebody wonders if this decline in audience is due to their HD broadcasts. I hope this doesn't discourage ballet companies from pursuing new technologies so more people can see their performances!

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My understanding is that the only prices that were cut were the super-expensive seats that were simply not selling for mediocre operas/casts. The pricing in many sections of the house remained the same as last year. They are continuing with the policy of variable pricing - charging more for certain operas/casts than for others..

They have abandoned the $7.50 per ticket exchange fee for subscribers who needed to exchange subscription tickets. The Met is the only subscription based institution that I know of that had the nerve to try that, and it apparently backfired. They lost much more in subscription sales than they gained from charging the fee.

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I am glad to see that they will finally offer Rusalka as an HD performance (and hopefully a dvd release eventually). That is one of the nicest productions at the Met. I saw Fleming in the role there back in 1997. I believe Emily Magee is making her debut at the Met as the Foreign Princess this time around, if I am not mistaken, despite singing leading roles for years in Europe.

Anyway, on paper Fleming, Magee, Zajick, and Beczala sound like a TERRIFIC cast for Rusalka and this will make a great dvd, b/c the production is by Otto Schenk and Günther Schneider-Siemssen (the team who did the previous glorious Ring Cycle...the one before the current machine production). This Rusalka deserves to be preserved on video before the Met shelves it for some crazy production of Rusalka as a P.E. coach or some other nonsense that is supposed to make it relevant to today.

With that said (by the way, I love the crazy Copenhagen Ring, but I think Wagner lends itself to crazy productions much more than other operas), I am interested in Nico Muhly's Two Boys, and I normally do not get interested in "new" operas. I have read good things about it.

Norma with Radvanovsky......a new Norma usually gets me in a plane to NY pronto, but if I do go I will buy a ticket to the second cast with Angela Meade as Norma. I suspect that will be the better Norma. Meade is able to pay attention to detail and I think bel canto requires attention to detail. I've heard her in the Verdi Requiem, in a recital, and a concert. Her "Casta Diva" is beautiful. She's young and I am still doubtful she is the Norma of our times (I've listened to her Caramoor debut as Norma), but at least she will please in most of the role. I can't imagine Radvanovsky singing this role personally. Last time around the Met cast Guleghina as Norma, so I went to the second cast with Hasmik Papian. I heard Guleghina blast her way through Norma in a concert reading in Miami years ago. One of her ornaments in the cabaletta actually made me burst out laughing. It was a total "bull in a china shop" approach to the role. For some reason, they keep hiring blasters for the first cast and the actual talent for the second cast.

Kaufmann's Werther might be great to see. He's one of the few singers I get excited about. His new Wagner iTunes disc (not sure what we now call an iTunes recording) is fabulous!!! His Siegmund in the new Mariinsky Walküre recording is nice too even if Gergiev and Anja Kampe ruin the recording for me.

Voigt singing Marie in Wozzeck? That saddens me. This was one of the biggest and most beautiful voices around at one time. She should be singing so many big roles, but Marie????? I heard her as Ariadne, Lady Macbeth, Tosca, Salome, in concerts, etc. This was a large voice with everything. But then she had the gastric bypass surgery and when I saw her Salome in Chicago after the surgery the voice was a shadow of what it once was. To me that was a superhuman voice before the surgery. After the surgery it has simply sounded very, very human and frail. And now the idea of her taking on Marie. That is a bad sign. That is often taken by singers who know their days are numbered! I hope I am wrong!!!

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