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Subject: Re: Met Gala
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 8 May 2017 13:23:47 -0400
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I mostly enjoyed it. I do think it was overlong, though - I felt the old adage "always leave 
'em wanting more" would have been appropriate. (At least I was listening at home, with 
easy bathroom access lol, not bound to a seat in the Met house. Though I'm sure much of 
the audience didn't care and loved the privilege of being there.)

Things got off to a mediocre start - an underrehearsed "Overture" (which, btw, was not 
actually written for the original West Side Story - it's literally a cut-and-paste afterthought 
for when Bernstein wanted to conduct an "overture" for a revival of the show a few years 
after it opened - and I've always thought it could have been so much better written than it 
is. Last night the orchestra just didn't quite cut it well enough for a public performance, and 
aside from the konzept of honoring Lincoln Center being on the West Side, I'm not sure it 
was the best choice to start the evening), Domingo sabotaging yet another baritone aria 
(yawn), a bad stab at the Count's aria from Figaro...(though it was fun an appropriate to 
hear the opening of Antony and Cleopatra, well-sung by the current Met chorus) - but then, 
generally, things got much better. And certainly the surprise return of Hvor was an 
emotional highlight (to make an understatement) - admittedly not his best singing, but 
under the circumstance, the fact that he sang at all (and that he sang such an emotionally-
packed piece) was priceless and most probably *the* reason to hear/see this gala. 

Sure, we can argue about rep (almost no Wagner, etc), but I am glad we got a bit of 
Tempest and the gorgeous Handel duet - music one might not expect at galas like this. 

And I did love hearing Susan Graham talk about the fun the singers were having 
backstage, etc - though at one point it sort of sound like she was about to lapse into 
something equivalent to a PBS pledge drive lol. 

Having participated in a number of these kind of one-off benefit-style evenings myself - 
they are always more than a bit stressful, always extremely underrehearsed, and almost 
always full of last-minute changes, cancellations, substitutions, etc. So, even as I complain 
about a few of the evening's gaffes, I do give the "ropolitan Opera" a lot of credit for pulling 
this off. If only maybe it had been about an hour shorter lol? ;-)


On Mon, 8 May 2017 12:11:02 -0400, ANGELO MAMMANO 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Many thanks to the mighty Met for the long and glorious Gala on Sunday.
>
>When it began Ms. Heath said that it would end at 10:30 which pleased me
>
>a lot.  I never thought that it would after 11.  I certainly have no complaints
>
>there.  There were so many highlights - the most of course was Dima's appearance
>
>after the introduction by Gelb.  It moved me so much.  BTW Rigoletto is one of his
>
>roles at the Met.  It was a perfect choice.   The Don  Carlo duet, Camarena's aria, the
>
>Pasquale duet,  the Boheme arias, the Netrebko pieces, Grigolo's Ah, leve-toi soleil.
>
>So many more.  Of course I could quibble, but I won't.
>
>
>Angelo from Boston
>
>
>>
>>     On May 8, 2017 at 9:21 AM Peggy Houdek <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>     I agree. I loved the whole thing, perfect or not. What a feast for an opera nut! 
Sunday night has some TV I always watch, so I recorded the Gala (hope it worked!) But I 
couldn't pull myself away from the Gala, so the recorded tv has to wait. To have five hours 
of glorious music live from the Met. Wow! And of , I had tears when Dimitri sang. Thanks 
Sirius. Thanks Met.
>>
>>     Peggy
>>
>>     (,,,)^..^(,,)
>>
>>         > >
>> >         On May 8, 2017, at 8:52 AM, Mike Hetsko <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >
>> >         Btw, Dimitri got off an elevator in the orchestra lobby area during intermission. 
Someone must have pushed a wrong button He got off and mingled for a very few seconds 
in the packed space. Got on another elevator and was whisked away.
>> >
>> >         ~Mike Hetsko
>> >
>> >         (-spell check by IPhone-)
>> >
>> >             > > >
>> > >             On May 8, 2017, at 8:35 AM, Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]> 
wrote:
>> > >
>> > >             It started out as though (at least to me over the airwaves), everyone was
>> > >             rushing as if as if there were a fire and they had to get out fast.
>> > >             (Beczala/Calleja, Opolais, etc.). It was stand and deliver. Nothing was
>> > >             nuanced, so it seemed, like maybe they were directed to get in there, sing
>> > >             it, and leave.
>> > >             Then suddenly it began to warm up around Netrebko time and she was 
fine.
>> > >             Highlight for me was the Handel Cornelia and Sesto duet with Blythe and
>> > >             Daniels.
>> > >             Kudos to Damrau who went for the high note in "Sempre libera" even
>> > >             though it wasn't quite perfect -- but so what! She tried it and for that I
>> > >             give her a brava.
>> > >             Grigolo was a strange mix for me. His "ah levee toi soleil" was done
>> > >             beautifully but I felt his "e lucevan le stelle" was a strange rendering --
>> > >             slow and unusual -- not in a good way.
>> > >             The Meade/Fabiano "I Lombardi" was a success but why was that all he
>> > >             was given to do? Nothing on his own? He must have been seething
>> > >             inwardly.
>> > >             It was fun counting the 9 highs of Camarena's "ah mes amis".
>> > >             If I had to pick one who delighted me most, I'd have to say Joyce di
>> > >             Donato. What a charmer.
>> > >             But the cap of the evening, which brought instant tears of joy to me, was
>> > >             the showing of Hvorostovsky -- and I didn't give a hoot whether
>> > >             his "Cortigiani" was perfect or not. What an exciting moment.
>> > >             This opera nutcase was very fulfilled with more than 5 hours of pure joy.
>> > >             Bravi tutti.
>> > >
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