Current Week

Feb
11
Mon
2019
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS
Feb 11 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS:Strauss
Original Air Date: 04/23/1994
Levine; Voigt, Schmidt, Dahl, Stratas, Prey, Oswald
SID.19070101
Voigt is in very fresh voice here, but Schmidt and Dahl are not to my taste, and I think Stratas over sings the part of Composer. Better to hear the 1979 performance with one of Gruberova’s only 2 Met broadcasts with Kollo, Troyanos, and Johanna Meier in the title role.
TURANDOT
Feb 11 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am

TURANDOT:Puccini
Original Air Date: 12/03/1966
Mehta; Nilsson, Freni, Corelli, Giaiotti
MOD Audio SID.19070102
This performance is Included in the Met’s 50th Anniversary collection. “Turandot”: The Best To Date at New Met [Unsigned review in the Journal-American of opening night September 26, 1966] The celebrating the opening of the new opera house over, the Metropolitan Opera settled for repertory last night and put on its best show to date. Puccini’s “Turandot” began the regular subscription season as a five-year old production that readily adjusted itself to new surroundings. It looked handsome, and it moved handsomely. Sighs. Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli took the leading roles as usual, the singing was magnificent. What else is there to say! This was a beautifully knit performance. Cecil Beaton’s sets and costumes rate among the best creations. Nathaniel Merrill has achieved some of the most imaginative staging. The cast is excellent. A new element entered with Zubin Mehta taking the conductor’s assignment. He imparts vitality and usually comprehends everything he does. The live acoustics of the pit led to overloud playing, but most interestingly he restrained himself in giving full rein to Puccini’s romanticism.

TANNHÄUSER
Feb 11 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


TANNHÄUSER:Wagner
Original Air Date: 12/18/2004
Elder; Seiffert, Voigt, DeYoung, Hampson, Moll
MOD Audio SID.19070103
Seiffert was a more effective Tannhauser than I expected, but my memories of this broadcast from all participants is more solid than memorable.

ELEKTRA
Feb 11 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm


ELEKTRA:Strauss
Original Air Date: 12/21/2002
Levine; Schnaut, Voigt, Schwarz, Pape, Jerusalem
SID.19070104
The same 3 ladies also have a 1999 broadcast with Levine which is regularly alternated on Sirius. For my taste, this is far too much Schnaut. Schwarz whom I remember fondly for her work on the Chereau Ring at Bayreuth (an outstanding Fricka) makes her last Met appearance with this broadcast, but though gone 12 years, the database does not yet mark it as a final Met appearance [still true in 2015]. I prefer Varnay, Borkh, and Nilsson. Eva Marton did not do her Elektra at the Met, a great loss, and Gwyneth Jones did not broadcast any of her 4 Met Elektras– one of her best roles. Marton does have a fantastic Chrysothemis with Mastilovic under Leinsdorf which has been on Sirius and well worth a listen.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO
Feb 11 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm


LA FORZA DEL DESTINO:Verdi
Original Air Date: 03/12/1960
Schippers; Tebaldi, Tucker, Sereni, Hines, Dunn, Baccaloni
MOD Audio SID.19070105
Tebaldi and Tucker are famous for their roles in Forza, but except for 2 performances in 1956, and the Forza preceding this broadcast which was halted because of the onstage death of Leonard Warren, these are their only appearances together in it. Tebaldi is not at the vocal peak of her 1958 Naples video (with Corelli and Bastianini) or her Florence performances with Mitropoulos and Del Monaco, but there is still much to enjoy. Leonora is one of Verdi’s greatest challenges, and most performers just don’t have the stuff.

THE MAGIC FLUTE
Feb 11 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm


THE MAGIC FLUTE:Mozart
Original Air Date: 12/30/2006
Levine; Huang, Polenzani, Gunn, Miklósa, Pape
MOD Video SID.19070106
This is the inaugural Met Live in HD performance and is an abridgement with new English translation by J.D. McClatchy. Miklosa has both her arias and she delivers them very well indeed. The video is available as a commercial DVD also.

DIE FLEDERMAUS
Feb 11 @ 9:00 pm – Feb 12 @ 12:00 am


DIE FLEDERMAUS:Strauss Jr.
Original Air Date: 01/20/1951
Ormandy; Piazza, Kullman, Munsel, Tucker, Stevens, Brownlee
MOD Audio SID.19070107
This is the broadcast of arguably the biggest hit of Bing’s opening season. Welitsch, who had done the premiere gives way to Piazza, for whom this is her sole broadcast and her only role at the Met, though she has a good long run after the broadcast and a Met tour for a total of 14 performances. Piazza would turn up on early 1950s TV show where an attractive (not so much to me) but generic soprano was called for. Tucker is a sonorous Alfred he almost turns the part into a plum. There are some enjoyable moments, and others that leave me cold. Sirius leaves Gilford off the listing, but he has some of the funniest bits.

Feb
12
Tue
2019
ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
Feb 12 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE:Gounod
Original Air Date: 02/01/1947
Cooper; Sayão, Bjorling,, Brownlee, Moscona
MOD Audio SID.19070208
One of the greatest performances to ever emanate from the Met stage. Available on Met Player, SonyCD, and despite the AM sound, Bjorling sings his second and last Met Romeo for the broadcast airwaves. Sayao with somewhat more limited vocal artillery is still every bit his equal artistically, and this performance comes pretty close to universal. If you haven’t heard it in some time, take a listen.

LA TRAVIATA
Feb 12 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am


LA TRAVIATA:Verdi
Original Air Date: 02/11/2006
Armiliato; Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Michaels-Moore
MOD Audio SID.19070209
This is Kaufmann’s debut year, and Michaels-Moore is below the standard of Gheorghiu. Kaufmann is still a bit green, but I plan to listen again to see how close he was vocally to his current very high performance standard. My memory in the theatre was AG was still the star; it’s one of her best roles.

L’ELISIR D’AMORE
Feb 12 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


L’ELISIR D’AMORE:Donizetti
Original Air Date: 12/14/1996
Rizzi; Leech, Rost, Nucci, Quilico
SID.19070210
L’elisir d’amore is almost as over-repeated as the Puccini works. This is a newish cast, but it takes more than that to attract my interest.

LA BOHÈME
Feb 12 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm


LA BOHÈME:Puccini
Original Air Date: 03/26/1994
Rizzi; Gheorghiu, Leech, Litherland, Robertson, Short
MOD Audio SID.19070211
This is from Gheorghiu’s first season and is also available in MOoD. Leech is a good partner, although I never got Rizzi’s conductorial message.

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
Feb 12 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm


ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA:Barber
Original Air Date: 09/16/1966
Schippers; Díaz, Price, Thomas, Flagello, Elias
MOD Audio SID.19070212
From MOD: Expectations were high when the Metropolitan Opera announced that the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra would christen its new house at Lincoln Center in the fall of 1966—a suitably grand work based on Shakespeare’s tragedy and written specifically for Leontyne Price as Cleopatra. A singer himself, the composer knew Price’s voice and what it could do, shaping his conception of the opera’s heroine around this iconic American diva. The 26-year-old Puerto Rican–born bass Justino Díaz starred alongside Price as Antony while Ezio Flagello portrayed Antony’s friend Enobarbus. Tenor Jess Thomas brought his heroic presence to the role of Octavius Caesar, and the beloved mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, already a Met veteran in her 30s, sang the role of Cleopatra’s attendant Charmian. Thanks to a Texaco–Metropolitan Opera Radio Network broadcast from the opera’s world premiere, this indelible piece of Met history has been preserved for generations. This is the opening of the new Met at Lincoln Center and the world premiere of the opera. Leontyne never sang better than this night, and luckily it is well preserved for all to hear. Lady Bird Johnson and Imelda Marcos were among the dignitaries that night

Various
Feb 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm


TBA:TBA
Original Air Date: 01/01/9999
TBA
SID.19070213

RIGOLETTO
Feb 12 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm


RIGOLETTO:Verdi
Original Air Date: 02/12/2019
Luisotti; Sierra, Zaharia, Grigolo, Frontali, Kocán
SID.19070214
Verdi’s tragic jester returns in Michael Mayer’s neon-bedecked, Las Vegas–themed production. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Bryan Hymel share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.

Feb
13
Wed
2019
EUGENE ONEGIN
Feb 13 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am


EUGENE ONEGIN:Tchaikovsky
Original Air Date: 12/08/1979
Tchakarov; Mazurok, Kabaivanska, Gedda, Jones, Plishka
SID.19070315
I saw this cast and this performance is Kabaivanska’s Met farewell. Well cast and well conducted, there are two broadcasts of Onegin in 1979 (but different seasons),both with Mazurok and Plishka the only repeats from one to another. To me, this is slightly better. For those who have never encountered Mazurok, I find his voice as velvety as Hvorostovsky, and an upper register that definitely has squillo. Wish the Met would transfer one of these Mazurok Onegins to MOoD. Glad that it at least gets a regular Sirius re-hearing.

COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Feb 13 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am


COSÌ FAN TUTTE:Mozart
Original Air Date: 12/22/1984
Tate; Vaness, Rendall, Murray, Holloay, Hamari, MacNeil
SID.19070316
This is Vaness’ first of four Cosi broadcasts, and amazingly, the only one with Levine in the pit is 1996 when the opera gets a new production and features the debut of Cecilia Bartoli as Despina. This 1984 on the Sirius airwaves features Cornell MacNeil in his only Mozartean appearance (a run of 14 including a tour) all with Vaness who has the house record for Fiordiligi at 44 (Steber is not a close 2nd at 29, but Te Kanawa a very distant 3d at 16) in a line of very distinguished Fiordiligis. It’s a shame that none of the 4 Steber broadcsts (1952-1955, 3 with Tucker,one with Valletti) have made it to the Sirius airwaves. The Columbia studio recording made during the opening season is a fine memento, but a LIVE performance record of one of the great Met productions should be heard. Translation rights again appears to be the stumbling block.

DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN
Feb 13 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN:Strauss
Original Air Date: 12/09/1989
Perick; Meier, Schunk, Martin, Courtney, Dernesch
MOD Audio SID.19070317
The big gap is Courtney being a late fill-in for Weikl as Barak. Dernesch finds some tough sledding in a lot of the Nurse’s part. I love the work, and Perick works hard. Though Johanna Meier is no Rysanek or Marton, she still has her moments. Listening to the COMPLETE performance under Jurowski from last season finds the Met and Frau particularly congenial partners. Maybe this is a minor hommage to Janis Martin who recently passed away, and so far as I can tell got no paid obituary from the Met in the NYTimes

TURANDOT
Feb 13 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm


TURANDOT:Puccini
Original Air Date: 12/03/1966
Mehta; Nilsson, Freni, Corelli, Giaiotti
MOD Audio SID.19070318
This performance is Included in the Met’s 50th Anniversary collection. “Turandot”: The Best To Date at New Met [Unsigned review in the Journal-American of opening night September 26, 1966] The celebrating the opening of the new opera house over, the Metropolitan Opera settled for repertory last night and put on its best show to date. Puccini’s “Turandot” began the regular subscription season as a five-year old production that readily adjusted itself to new surroundings. It looked handsome, and it moved handsomely. Sighs. Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli took the leading roles as usual, the singing was magnificent. What else is there to say! This was a beautifully knit performance. Cecil Beaton’s sets and costumes rate among the best creations. Nathaniel Merrill has achieved some of the most imaginative staging. The cast is excellent. A new element entered with Zubin Mehta taking the conductor’s assignment. He imparts vitality and usually comprehends everything he does. The live acoustics of the pit led to overloud playing, but most interestingly he restrained himself in giving full rein to Puccini’s romanticism.

TANNHÄUSER
Feb 13 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm


TANNHÄUSER:Wagner
Original Air Date: 12/18/2004
Elder; Seiffert, Voigt, DeYoung, Hampson, Moll
MOD Audio SID.19070319
Seiffert was a more effective Tannhauser than I expected, but my memories of this broadcast from all participants is more solid than memorable.

ELEKTRA
Feb 13 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm


ELEKTRA:Strauss
Original Air Date: 12/21/2002
Levine; Schnaut, Voigt, Schwarz, Pape, Jerusalem
SID.19070320
The same 3 ladies also have a 1999 broadcast with Levine which is regularly alternated on Sirius. For my taste, this is far too much Schnaut. Schwarz whom I remember fondly for her work on the Chereau Ring at Bayreuth (an outstanding Fricka) makes her last Met appearance with this broadcast, but though gone 12 years, the database does not yet mark it as a final Met appearance [still true in 2015]. I prefer Varnay, Borkh, and Nilsson. Eva Marton did not do her Elektra at the Met, a great loss, and Gwyneth Jones did not broadcast any of her 4 Met Elektras– one of her best roles. Marton does have a fantastic Chrysothemis with Mastilovic under Leinsdorf which has been on Sirius and well worth a listen.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO
Feb 13 @ 9:00 pm – Feb 14 @ 12:00 am


LA FORZA DEL DESTINO:Verdi
Original Air Date: 03/12/1960
Schippers; Tebaldi, Tucker, Sereni, Hines, Dunn, Baccaloni
MOD Audio SID.19070321
Tebaldi and Tucker are famous for their roles in Forza, but except for 2 performances in 1956, and the Forza preceding this broadcast which was halted because of the onstage death of Leonard Warren, these are their only appearances together in it. Tebaldi is not at the vocal peak of her 1958 Naples video (with Corelli and Bastianini) or her Florence performances with Mitropoulos and Del Monaco, but there is still much to enjoy. Leonora is one of Verdi’s greatest challenges, and most performers just don’t have the stuff.

Feb
14
Thu
2019
TURANDOT
Feb 14 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am


TURANDOT:Puccini
Original Air Date: 12/03/1966
Mehta; Nilsson, Freni, Corelli, Giaiotti
MOD Audio SID.19070422
This performance is Included in the Met’s 50th Anniversary collection. “Turandot”: The Best To Date at New Met [Unsigned review in the Journal-American of opening night September 26, 1966] The celebrating the opening of the new opera house over, the Metropolitan Opera settled for repertory last night and put on its best show to date. Puccini’s “Turandot” began the regular subscription season as a five-year old production that readily adjusted itself to new surroundings. It looked handsome, and it moved handsomely. Sighs. Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli took the leading roles as usual, the singing was magnificent. What else is there to say! This was a beautifully knit performance. Cecil Beaton’s sets and costumes rate among the best creations. Nathaniel Merrill has achieved some of the most imaginative staging. The cast is excellent. A new element entered with Zubin Mehta taking the conductor’s assignment. He imparts vitality and usually comprehends everything he does. The live acoustics of the pit led to overloud playing, but most interestingly he restrained himself in giving full rein to Puccini’s romanticism.

EUGENE ONEGIN
Feb 14 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am


EUGENE ONEGIN:Tchaikovsky
Original Air Date: 12/08/1979
Tchakarov; Mazurok, Kabaivanska, Gedda, Jones, Plishka
SID.19070423
I saw this cast and this performance is Kabaivanska’s Met farewell. Well cast and well conducted, there are two broadcasts of Onegin in 1979 (but different seasons),both with Mazurok and Plishka the only repeats from one to another. To me, this is slightly better. For those who have never encountered Mazurok, I find his voice as velvety as Hvorostovsky, and an upper register that definitely has squillo. Wish the Met would transfer one of these Mazurok Onegins to MOoD. Glad that it at least gets a regular Sirius re-hearing.

ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
Feb 14 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE:Gounod
Original Air Date: 02/01/1947
Cooper; Sayão, Bjorling,, Brownlee, Moscona
MOD Audio SID.19070424
One of the greatest performances to ever emanate from the Met stage. Available on Met Player, SonyCD, and despite the AM sound, Bjorling sings his second and last Met Romeo for the broadcast airwaves. Sayao with somewhat more limited vocal artillery is still every bit his equal artistically, and this performance comes pretty close to universal. If you haven’t heard it in some time, take a listen.

LA TRAVIATA
Feb 14 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm


LA TRAVIATA:Verdi
Original Air Date: 02/11/2006
Armiliato; Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Michaels-Moore
MOD Audio SID.19070425
This is Kaufmann’s debut year, and Michaels-Moore is below the standard of Gheorghiu. Kaufmann is still a bit green, but I plan to listen again to see how close he was vocally to his current very high performance standard. My memory in the theatre was AG was still the star; it’s one of her best roles.

L’ELISIR D’AMORE
Feb 14 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm


L’ELISIR D’AMORE:Donizetti
Original Air Date: 12/14/1996
Rizzi; Leech, Rost, Nucci, Quilico
SID.19070426
L’elisir d’amore is almost as over-repeated as the Puccini works. This is a newish cast, but it takes more than that to attract my interest.

LA BOHÈME
Feb 14 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm


LA BOHÈME:Puccini
Original Air Date: 03/26/1994
Rizzi; Gheorghiu, Leech, Litherland, Robertson, Short
MOD Audio SID.19070427
This is from Gheorghiu’s first season and is also available in MOoD. Leech is a good partner, although I never got Rizzi’s conductorial message.

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
Feb 14 @ 9:00 pm – Feb 15 @ 12:00 am


ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA:Barber
Original Air Date: 09/16/1966
Schippers; Díaz, Price, Thomas, Flagello, Elias
MOD Audio SID.19070428
From MOD: Expectations were high when the Metropolitan Opera announced that the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra would christen its new house at Lincoln Center in the fall of 1966—a suitably grand work based on Shakespeare’s tragedy and written specifically for Leontyne Price as Cleopatra. A singer himself, the composer knew Price’s voice and what it could do, shaping his conception of the opera’s heroine around this iconic American diva. The 26-year-old Puerto Rican–born bass Justino Díaz starred alongside Price as Antony while Ezio Flagello portrayed Antony’s friend Enobarbus. Tenor Jess Thomas brought his heroic presence to the role of Octavius Caesar, and the beloved mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, already a Met veteran in her 30s, sang the role of Cleopatra’s attendant Charmian. Thanks to a Texaco–Metropolitan Opera Radio Network broadcast from the opera’s world premiere, this indelible piece of Met history has been preserved for generations. This is the opening of the new Met at Lincoln Center and the world premiere of the opera. Leontyne never sang better than this night, and luckily it is well preserved for all to hear. Lady Bird Johnson and Imelda Marcos were among the dignitaries that night

Feb
15
Fri
2019
COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Feb 15 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am


COSÌ FAN TUTTE:Mozart
Original Air Date: 12/22/1984
Tate; Vaness, Rendall, Murray, Holloay, Hamari, MacNeil
SID.19070529
This is Vaness’ first of four Cosi broadcasts, and amazingly, the only one with Levine in the pit is 1996 when the opera gets a new production and features the debut of Cecilia Bartoli as Despina. This 1984 on the Sirius airwaves features Cornell MacNeil in his only Mozartean appearance (a run of 14 including a tour) all with Vaness who has the house record for Fiordiligi at 44 (Steber is not a close 2nd at 29, but Te Kanawa a very distant 3d at 16) in a line of very distinguished Fiordiligis. It’s a shame that none of the 4 Steber broadcsts (1952-1955, 3 with Tucker,one with Valletti) have made it to the Sirius airwaves. The Columbia studio recording made during the opening season is a fine memento, but a LIVE performance record of one of the great Met productions should be heard. Translation rights again appears to be the stumbling block.

THE MAGIC FLUTE
Feb 15 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am


THE MAGIC FLUTE:Mozart
Original Air Date: 12/30/2006
Levine; Huang, Polenzani, Gunn, Miklósa, Pape
MOD Video SID.19070530
This is the inaugural Met Live in HD performance and is an abridgement with new English translation by J.D. McClatchy. Miklosa has both her arias and she delivers them very well indeed. The video is available as a commercial DVD also.