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Subject: Re: Taking Measure of Today's Met
From: "ls111553 ." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:ls111553 .
Date:Sun, 7 Jan 2018 15:25:41 +0000

text/plain (141 lines)

In total agreement! I will add that the number of Met PBS broadcasts per
season has more than tripled thanks to the association with the live

On Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 12:16 PM G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>

> In the world of opera, and the Met (and this list) in particular, there
> always has been, and
> always shall be, much clutching of pearls and wringing of hands and
> predictions of "this is
> the end."  It did not begin under Gelb, and I think, all things considered
> his batting average
> has been . . . average and there have been, despite the naysayers, some
> improvements
> under his watch.
> One thing that has definitely improved have been the conducting
> assignments.  Under Gelb
> we’ve been able to hear many leaders who previously had never worked, or
> in some
> instances simply hadn’t been heard from in many years.  Among these are
> Sir Simon Rattle,
> Harry Bicket, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Fabio Luisi, William Christie,
> Riccardo Muti, Jiri
> Belohlávek, Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris
> Nelsons and, of
> course, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  Not too shabby, I'd say.
> Let’s also not forget the live broadcasts so many enjoy from the beginning
> of the season
> through the end, over Sirius began under Gelb’s watch, and not just the
> opera repertoire,
> but galas, recitals by the likes of Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape, as well
> as the Met
> Orchestra concerts broadcast from Carnegie Hall.  Then there are the
> archival performances
> – many complaints that some of their favorite performances have not yet
> been put into
> circulation, but for goodness’ sake, look how many gems we’ve been able to
> enjoy for the
> first time in 70 years, and in some cases – ever before attracting
> audiences to performances
> that occurred before many were even born!
> Gelb lifted the ban on Met season artists from appearing during the
> Richard Tucker Galas –
> a ban that was both ridiculous and counterintuitive to its own interests.
> The repertory has increased with more commissions in the last 20 years
> than in the
> previous half century.  Additionally, more works such as Strauss’ “Die
> Ägyptische Helena”;
> Tchaikovsky’s  “Mazeppa” (which needs to come back), and “Iolanta”; Glass’
> “Satyagraha”
> Adams’ “Doctor Atomic,” “Nixon in China” and “The Death of Klinghoffer”;
> Janacek’s “From
> the House of the Dead”; Rossini’s “Armida” and “Comte d’Ory”; Donizetti’s
> Three Queen
> operas; Shostakovich’s “The Nose”; Verdi’s “Attila”; Puccini’s “La
> Rondine” (not seen since
> 1936); Picker’s “An American Tragedy”; Ades “The Tempest” and “The
> Exterminating Angel”;
> Muhly’s “Two Boys” . . . and the list goes on.
> While a number of productions were Dead on Arrival (e.g., “Attila”), there
> have been a
> decent number of hits (some previously mentioned above); including . . .
> Prince Igor;
> Penny Woolcock’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles”; William Kentridge’s “Lulu”;
> Patrice Chéreau’s
> “Elektra”;  Bartlett Sher’s “Romeo et Juliette”; David McVickar’s “Giulio
> Cesare” and most
> notable for me, François Girard’s production of “Parsifal,” my favorite
> opera and in what’s
> become one of my favorite staging.
> All this being said, Gelb has made any number of bone-headed, uninformed
> decisions, but
> that’s part and parcel of the job.  Does any of this sound familiar to
> anyone?
> "The opera always loses money.  That's as it should be.  Opera has no
> business making
> money."   - Sir Rudolf Bing
> “We are currently projecting the box office to achieve 76 percent of
> capacity versus a
> budget of 80 percent (capacity), resulting in a shortfall of $4,303,000.”
> -  Joseph Volpe
> ". . . during the Centennial year (1983), while the Met garnered
> international attention, it
> was faced with a deficit of $4 million.  None of the new productions that
> year - Handel's
> ‘Rinaldo’, Verdi's ‘Ernani’, and Zandonai's ‘Francesca di Rimini’ - were
> received with much
> enthusiasm by the public . . . box office income dropped as expenses
> increased.  Another
> financial crisis loomed.  Another problem was the Centennial Endowment
> itself.   Donors . . .
> did not increase or in some cases (only) maintained their usual annual
> contributions, so
> annual giving dropped off . . . what the Board always feared would happen
> . . . "   Johanna
> Fiedler "Molto Agitato."
> So, while the company is still around, it's still making many of us happy
> more than it is not,
> and I, for one, shall try to keep my complaints to a minimum and enjoy The
> Met as much,
> and as frequently as I can.
> p.
> **********************************************
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