Posts Tagged ‘peter gelb’

Then is now

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

By James Jorden

With one of my favorite opera productions returning to the Met tonight, I’ve been considering lately what makes Willy Decker’s Traviata so fine, so satisfying, and so worth a return visit. (more…)

What went wrong?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

By James Jorden

After putting off for a week trying to make some sense of the horrific mess that is the Met’s new Faust, I’m finally just going to give up. There are some disasters that bear writing about as what you might call teaching opportunities: this season’s Don Giovanni, for example, as a cautionary tale about the perils of timid conservatism. But there’s nothing to be learned from this Faust besides, perhaps, “never hire Des McAnuff to direct another opera under any circumstances.”  (more…)

Ring Recycle

Friday, November 18th, 2011

By James Jorden

Now that it has become apparent that Robert Lepage’s production of the Ring at the Met is a fiasco (too soon? Nah.)… well, anyway, since arguably the production is a dreary, unworkable, overpriced mess whose primary (perhaps only) virtue is that it actually hasn’t killed anyone yet, and since, let’s face it, the Machinecentric show turned out to be so mind-bogglingly expensive (all those Sunday tech rehearsals with stagehands being paid, no doubt, in solid platinum ingots!), something has to be done. In this article, I intend to propose that “something.”  (more…)

Peter’s Principles

Friday, November 4th, 2011

by James Jorden

“I’ve almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn’t a Christian,” muses merry murderess Abby Brewster early in the first act of Arsenic and Old Lace, and to tell the truth I’m beginning to think I’m almost as far behind the curve as she was. Recent new productions at the Met suggest strongly that Peter Gelb either doesn’t quite know what he’s doing or else, if he does know, has some wildly inappropriate ideas about what music drama is supposed to be.  (more…)

Nixon in Amber

Friday, February 4th, 2011

By James Jorden

It’s not hard to guess why Peter Gelb would choose to import a recreation of the original production of Nixon in China instead of devising a new staging from scratch. It would hardly be prudent to blow a million dollars on a six-performance run of a work unlikely to be revived any time soon, and surely the Met’s General Manager felt he should offer an olive branch to Peter Sellars after the snub of Dr. Atomic.

On the other hand, if I wanted someone sensible and kind running the Met, I wouldn’t have voted for Peter Gelb. (more…)

Myth, Matched

Friday, January 7th, 2011

By James Jorden

New Year’s Eve may have marked a significant turning point for the Gelb administration at the Metropolitan Opera. The replacement of the “beloved” Franco Zeffirelli Traviata extravaganza with a lean, mean non-literal staging has garnered rapturous reviews and strongly positive audience reactions. The single reported boo for director Willy Decker’s production team (someplace over house left in Orchestra) was, from where I was sitting, drowned out by applause and moderate cheering- though, to be perfectly accurate, there weren’t many shouts of “bravo.”

The point, though, is that the sky hasn’t fallen. Big Bad Regie hasn’t chased the audiences away from the Met. Remaining performances of the run, including tonight’s, are heavily sold, and rumor has it that the production will be revived in the next two seasons. So, what went right? Why is Traviata the triumph that Tosca or (thus far) the new Ring is not?  (more…)

The tears of a queen

Friday, December 17th, 2010

By James Jorden

What makes a dedicated opera queen (well, anyway this dedicated opera queen) sad? Well, it goes like this: the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera hosts a panel discussion to introduce the company’s upcoming new production of La traviata, the first non-Franco Zeffirelli take on Verdi’s tragedy to be seen there in over two decades.  No tears yet? Bear with me. (more…)