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Subject: Re: No Met Forza - No Radvanosky
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:45:34 +0000

text/plain (80 lines)

I don't wish to be burned at the stake for this, but I do NOT view this as a catastrophe. To me, ANY Bieto production is bad and I'm glad that it won't be seen at the Met. I love "Forza" and I love Radvanovsky, but it seems to me that a traditional Forza could be staged in a very modest manner. Radvanovsky, of course, is necessary, but Bieto is most certainly not. If an audience wants to experience the beauty of "Forza", they can experience it the way it was experienced during the days of Milanov, Tebaldi, Price, etc. It's a real singer's opera and I wouldn't care if it were presented in an even sparse production. The amount of money being spent on "artists" like Bieto is outrageous, especially when one sees the actual "production". The Met has already given us productions of operas such as Sonnambula, Armida, Tosca, Rigoletto, and others that have been the objects of derision. 
Radvanovsky's Donna Leonora deserves to be framed in an at-least presentable tradition production. I'm also rather thrilled that the Met has cancelled it. 


----- Original Message -----

From: "John Schweger" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: "OPERA-L" <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 4:15:01 PM 
Subject: No Met Forza - No Radvanosky 

Requiem for a New Metropolitan Opera Production 


Continue reading the main story<> 

The Metropolitan Opera announced Friday that in order to save money it was canceling a much-anticipated new production<> of Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" by the daring director Calixto Bieito, planned for next season. The company said it would give several concert performances of Verdi's Requiem conducted by James Levine in its place. 

The announcement underscored the fragility of finances at the Met, which has cut wages and fees in recent years to curb its mounting costs and offset struggles at the box office. It also means the indefinite postponement of the Met debut of Mr. Bieito, an iconoclastic Catalan director with a thriving career in Europe and a history of mounting productions that have sometimes shocked opera audiences with graphic sex and violence. 

Peter Gelb, the Met's general manager, said in an interview that the decision had been made for financial reasons, not artistic ones. "Basically it's a cost-cutting measure," he said. 

He said that the company, which has a budget of around $300 million a year and ran a $22 million deficit in its 2013-14 season<>, was on track to balance this year's budget, but that it still needed to reduce its costs if it is to survive. By canceling next year's "Forza," a co-production between the Met and the English National Opera<>, Mr. Gelb said the company would save roughly a million dollars in costs associated with adjusting the sets and costumes for its stage and rehearsing it. 

The Spanish opera director Calixto Bieito was to lead a staging of Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" at the Metropolitan Opera. Credit Marijan Murat/picture-alliance/dpa, via Associated Press 

The cancellation means that the Met will present only five new productions next season, which will be announced next month, down from six. When Mr. Gelb became general manager just over a decade ago, he decided that mounting more new productions was necessary for the company to remain artistically vibrant and to help it attract new audiences. Initially he presented seven new productions each season, up from the three or four before he arrived. 

Mr. Gelb said the decision to pull the plug on "Forza" was "not a reflection upon my feeling about Calixto's talent as a director," and said he still hoped Mr. Bieito would work at the Met. But he said it was unclear when or if "Forza" would be staged, as future seasons have been planned through the 2020-21. Mr. Bieito did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


Continue reading the main story<> 

Mr. Bieito is the second high-profile, innovative director whose production was derailed en route to the Met. The company announced over the summer<> that its plans to bring Stefan Herheim's production of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" from the Salzburg Festival to the Met in a future season had fallen apart for a variety of reasons. 

Under Mr. Gelb's leadership the Met, which has had a reputation for mounting conservative, traditional productions, has increasingly turned to more experimental international directors, including Willy Decker and Patrice Chéreau, whose posthumous production of Strauss' "Elektra" was a highlight last season. 

Mr. Gelb said that he still wanted to bring daring directors to the Met in the coming years, and said that he had been in talks with Ivo van Hove and Barrie Kosky about future productions. "It's not as if we have suddenly decided that we are not going to be gambling with new directors who are at the cutting edge of theatrical excitement," he said. 

Instead of the "Forza," the Met will give four concert performances of Verdi's Requiem featuring its orchestra and chorus conducted by Mr. Levine, and with Krassimira Stoyanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as the soloists. It will be performed 

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