Thursday 16 February 2006

I see that the Met. has announced it's forthcoming seasons at a press conference (reported here in the Gramophone). In fact it was the first time in 9 years that they've done this sort of press conference. And after all the worrying over what effect Peter Gelb's taking of the help of the old lady of the Lincoln Center would have, the new seasons sound rather promising.

Granted, there are a clutch of cross genre collaborations but the intention seems to be to try and develop new musical theatre of all varieties. Their heart seems to be in the right place, lets hope the results aren't too cringe-making.

On the more regular opera scene, there are new productions of Strauss's Aegytische Helena which might be worth crossing the Atlantic for; plus Tan Dun's new opera, The First Emperor. Further ahead there is a new Attila and From the House of the Dead. Not earthshattering but interesting nonetheless.

Every new opera-house director seems to want to make their mark by scheduling the Ring. Gelb seems to be no different. He is planning a new Ring in 2010-2011 directed by Robert LePage, inspired by Viking myths and Icelandic landscapes. Might be interesting, but non-operatic directors do have a tendency to fall by the wayside when it comes to the Ring. Lets see what happens here.

Gelb seems to be continuing the Met's recent forays into contemporary opera. Besides the Tan Dun, they are reviving John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles. This latter I saw some years ago and it seemed rather a sprawling mess, redeemed only by Marilyn Horne's superb turn as a houri! Adams's Dr. Atomic is coming as is a new opera from Osvaldo Golijov, who seems to be turning into the current flavour of the month.

I can't say that there is anything in this list which has me desperate to return to New York, but you never know.

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