Original Air Date: 01/22/1977
Conlon; Valente, Burrows, Uppman, Shane, Plishka
This Zauberfloete features old and new performers in a well-balanced performance. The conductor, James Conlon, was in his debut engagement; and the Sarastro, Paul Plishka, was doing his only series in the role (one of his first major roles). The talented Benita Valente was especially noted for her Mozart roles. On the lesser known and underappreciated front, we have a sparkling Rita Shane as the Queen of the Night. Finally, on the veteran front, we have Theodore Uppman, doing the last of his 60 Papagenos at the Met. Maybe most notable for a future Broadway composer Adam Guettel (RRodgers’ grandson) as one of the Genie. All in all, an enjoyable Mozart outing.
Original Air Date: 03/20/1999
Santi; Vaness, Pavarotti, Morris
MOD Audio SID.19340531
This is Pavarotti’s fifth and final Cavaradossi broadcast. I always find his voice a tad light for the role, but no one exceeds him in his honeyed delivery of the text. Vaness is a low wattage Tosca. Available on MOoD there is a 1995 performance of the Pav with Holleque and Pons. Best of all, at least for him is the 1978 telecast (on MOoD) and DVD with Verrett and MacNeil under Conlon.
Original Air Date: 02/03/1996
Levine; Plishka, Daniels, Quilico, Horne, Bonney, Groves
MOD Audio SID.19340532
Levine, Plishka, Bonney, and Horne are all in the 1992 revival which is on MOoD, but with Freni for Daniels, and Bruno Pola for Quilico. My experience with almost all of the Falstaff casting in the Levine era is OK, but not really an ensemble. We still keep having the Bernstein performance overlooked (LB’s only other Met broadcast beside Cavalleria) from 1964. The bad luck continues with Rosenstock’s conducting from 1965 and Amaducci’s conducting fom 1967. The Dohnanyi performance from 1972 features Gobbi in one of HIS two Met broadcasts (the other is Otello, no Scarpia on the Met airwaves alas) with Tebaldi, Resnik, Paskalis in sterling support. This should be in MOoD.
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA:Rossini
Original Air Date: 03/09/1963
Strasfogel; Guarrera, D’Angelo, Shirley, Corena, Tozzi
The only known I will vouch for in advance is Corena, one of his very best roles. Tozzi becomes more variable in this period, so I don’t want to praise a performance I have not recently heard. This performance could be anything from a train wreck to a secret gem. What I am sure about is that it is not the Zedda critical edition (not yet published).
Original Air Date: 01/01/9999
Various selections between scheduled operas. Siriusxm Radio and web player will show the Composer and Title.
A delightful and heartfelt classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Funny Face has all of the hallmarks of a great American movie musical and stars screen legends Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. Inspired by an unproduced musical by Leonard Gershe—itself loosely based on the life of famed photographer Richard Avedon—the 1957 film includes a number of beloved tunes by George and Ira Gershwin, including “’S wonderful” and “Let’s Kiss and Make Up.” A co-presentation of Film at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera
Approximate running time: 1 hour 45 minutes
LA CLEMENZA DI TITO:Mozart
Original Air Date: 04/20/2019
Koenigs; Fang, van den Heever, DiDonato, Murrihy, Polenzani, Van Horn
Mozart’s opera of ancient Rome, La Clemenza di Tito, returned to the Met starring Matthew Polenzani in the title role of the Roman emperor Tito, with Elza van den Heeveras the vengeful Vitellia, who plots his assassination. Joyce DiDonato sings the trouser role of Sesto, Tito’s most devoted friend, who is also in love with Vitellia. The trio of leading artists is reunited at the Met after their acclaimed performances together in the company’s new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda in 2013. Emily D’Angelo and Ying Fang sing the roles of thelovers Annio and Servilia, Sesto’s friend and sister, respectively, andChristian Van Horn portrays the captain of the Praetorian Guard, Publio. Lothar Koenigs conducts all six performances of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s 1984 staging, which ran March 30 through April 20, 2019.