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The NYC Metropolitan Opera has continued to broadcast one of the grandest of grand operas per day:

Friday, July 31
Dvořák’s Rusalka
Starring Kristine Opolais, Katarina Dalayman, Jamie Barton, Brandon Jovanovich, and Eric Owens, conducted by Mark Elder. From February 25, 2017.

Saturday, August 1
Verdi’s Ernani
Starring Leona Mitchell, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes, and Ruggero Raimondi, conducted by James Levine. From December 17, 1983.

Sunday, August 2
Wagner’s Die Walküre
Starring Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. From March 30, 2019

Monday, August 3
Mozart’s The Magic Flute
Starring Ying Huang, Erika Miklósa, Matthew Polenzani, Nathan Gunn, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. From December 30, 2006.

Tuesday, August 4
Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann
Starring Erin Morley, Hibla Gerzmava, Kate Lindsey, Christine Rice, Vittorio Grigolo, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Yves Abel. From January 31, 2015.

Wednesday, August 5
Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Vladimir Chernov, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by James Levine. From January 26, 1995.

Thursday, August 6
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Starring Kristine Opolais, Maria Zifchak, Roberto Alagna, and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Karel Mark Chichon. From April 2, 2016.

Friday, August 7
Wagner’s Parsifal
Starring Waltraud Meier, Siegfried Jerusalem, Bernd Weikl, and Kurt Moll, conducted by James Levine. From March 28, 1992.

Saturday, August 8
Handel’s Agrippina
Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. From February 29, 2020.

Sunday, August 9
Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Starring Hibla Gerzmava, Malin Byström, Serena Malfi, Paul Appleby, Simon Keenlyside, and Adam Plachetka, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From October 22, 2016

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  1. Aardvark says:

    They dare to broadcast all this showy display of white privilege while people are suffering under the psychological weight of BLM? In Dvořák’s Rusalka, are the Slavs going to be portrayed by oppressed black people? Since the story of Rusalka has a prince in it, will it be re-tooled to feature St. George?

    Now I have something decent to tune in to and enjoy. Thanks for the tip, iSteve.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  2. Highly recommended if you think you might be an opera fan. I just watched a 1977 production of Rigoletto where a young Placido Domingo sang the role of the Duke:

  3. Dan Smith says:

    Those are all whypeeppul singing, right?

    • Replies: @tyrone
  4. Somewhere there are busts of Pucicni, Mozart, Wagner, et al just waiting to be pulled down and dragged to a lake. #OperaSoWhite. And, according to the nyt, WHITES! have no culture.

    • Replies: @Prester John
    , @guest
  5. Thank God they didn’t tell Grace Bumbry, Jessye Norman, and Leontyne Price that they shouldn’t sing European Opera.

  6. Dr. Dre says:

    I have many happy memories of serving on the Junior Committee of the Northern Ohio Opera Assn. in the 1980s when the Met pulled into town in the spring for “Opera Week.” We juniors helped by selling tickets, driving the stars out to lunch at a lovely estate (Sherrill Milnes rode in my station wagon!), held a picnic for the orchestra members at another pretty home, and enjoyed night after night of wonderful performances at the State Theater. The Met quit touring a few years later. Glad you published the schedule for streaming!

  7. I listen to them on Sirius. I really love to hear the older broadcasts (pre-1980) and wish they would broadcast more of them. (There was a broadcast of a 1937 “Siegfried” with the great Melchoir in the title role of the bumptious manchild which was a joy hear).

  8. @Buffalo Joe

    No more “Otello” in blackface. That’s out!

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  9. A rich country like the US should have had something like this for a long time. Even poor disadvantaged people have access to a pinnacle of culture.

    That said, watching opera on TV with the typical TV sound system is strangely unsatisfying. I have trouble watching through. Live opera is spectacular.

  10. RickinJax says:

    Thanks for the reminder

  11. anon[262] • Disclaimer says:

    OT–Steve–Many days ago I sent a (low 4-figure) check to your po box. Last I looked, it hadn’t cleared….

  12. grown ups don’t listen to music steve.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  13. I give up says:

    Skrewdriver – Eyes full of rage Lyrics

    One day you’ll wake up to find
    They’ve taken possession of your mind
    They’ll make you into a number, they’ll take away your choice
    They’re going to make you into a zombie without a voice

    With your eyes full of rage, eyes full of rage
    With your eyes full of rage, and a heart full of hate

    Life as once we knew it is now dying
    White rights are disappearing from the earth
    They’ll take away our birthrights, take away our lands
    They’re going to take away what was ours since time began

    It’s time that we all stood up for our nations
    It’s time that we all made that sacrifice
    We’ll stand against the traitors, we’ll stand up for our rights
    And we will never give them up without a fight

  14. Handel? I thought his operas completely vanished, along with other oldtimers.
    Otherwise, repertory is commendable, although I would add Mussorgsky , Berg & Bizet.

  15. Anon[624] • Disclaimer says:

    Thanks for this Steve. These are very high quality recordings. But you must watch them the same night, each is only available for free for 24 hours, after that it’s $4.99 for each rental.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Kronos
  16. Yeah, Steve, why are you focusing on all these DWEMs? Don’t you know “Black Is King”?!?!?

  17. So long as every performer, every musician is decked out in a facediaper and Minions-grade safety goggles. It would be deeply irresponsible to display undiapered, ungoggled people in this time of plague where millions have been infected and died across the planet.

    Diaper up.


  18. Useful for repelling “peaceful protesters”.

  19. El Dato says:

    We don’t have enough problems yet, so now we get cyber-anti-semitism.

    Covid-19 lockdown in Britain sparked ‘EXPLOSION’ of ONLINE ANTI-SEMITISM, Jewish charity says

    We have precise numbers:

    This year, anti-Semitic hatred has grown online by four percent, from 332 to 344 incidents.

    According to the agency [British charity Community Security Trust (CST)], that makes up 44 percent of the reported incidents this year.


    The number of offline incidents however dropped by 13 percent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period a year before, likely due to overall lockdown restrictions, such incidents were recorded, including assaults, verbal threats, damage and desecration of Jewish property and mass-mailing of anti-Semitic literature.

    It’s as if the BLM chaos had disappeared from this timeline. Maybe Nazis fear the virus more? Who knows! I feel we are being prepared for a perma-lockdown. It’s in our best interest in any case.

    The actual scale of anti-Jewish hatred could be even wider as not all such offenses are reported to police, the CST suggests.

    Like COVID-19, lying in wait, preparing a second wave.

  20. El Dato says:
    @Percy Gryce

    What is going on in that movie? Is it like “2020: A Space Beyoncé”?

    • LOL: Percy Gryce
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    , @Lurker
  21. guest says:
    @Percy Gryce

    More like Title Is Gibberish, amirite?

  22. guest says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    They do their part by undercutting the works with incorrect settings, anachronisms, bizarre stage directions, weird sex and gore, and general disrespect.

    Although for some reason they still like to make the music sound good.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    , @dfordoom
  23. J.Ross says:
    @Percy Gryce

    Truly, practical effects beat CGI

    If there was a show about white culture and, cough cough, CIVILIZATION, it would actually be about things. East Asians ditto although the only one that springs to mind is the timeless and delightful Japan’s Living Cultural Treasures, narrated by Jose Ferrer, which see. The “least accomplished” Hispanics have incredible music, and the most have foundational contributions to Western civilization. The Indians have … pretty much Vathek but in real life, plus all that math and architecture and medicine.
    But when an unabashed supremacist propaganda project wants to thump a black chest, they make an extended music video with CGI.
    And it still manages to be inferior to black accomplishment anyway, to that other great extended music video …

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  24. Anonymous[825] • Disclaimer says:

    There is a sad shabby opera playing now in the congressional hearings…

    Once again Fauci revealed to be the scaramouche clown character.


    Ironic how joker Fauci would’ve been fired from The Apprentice tv show immediately….. but in real life Trump is the joker who clings to Fauci like Fauci is the golden goose.

    And Trump won’t stop hyping vaccines though most of the country sees right thru the Bill Gates master plan.

    The public does not trust Bill F***ing Gates.

    Yet Trump is on Team Gates come hell or highwater. F***ing insane.

  25. @Percy Gryce

    I’m sure that the CGI effects in Bey’s video were invented and implemented by blacks, and that the sets, direction, technical staff, etc were all done by blacks.


  26. prosa123 says:

    I’m sure that even with the live productions shut down the unionized $350K/year stagehands are managing quite well.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @Alden
  27. theMann says:

    You hit the nail on the head with that observation.

    Poor Camera work.
    VERY poor lighting.
    Poor sound quality.

    Maybe a live performance at Lincoln Center is something else, but the broadcasts are rather pitiful. And I really don’t see any excuse for it – local TV studios seem to manage better live music broadcasts.

  28. I guess #MeToo is over as well. I couldn’t help but notice some of these broadcasts:

    conducted by James Levine.

    I’m looking forward to the Parsifal he conducted.

  29. From Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is the famous aria “Un Bel Di Vedremo” sung in Italian. In English, it is often called “One Fine Day”. In this aria, Butterfly sings optimistically about her Husband returning from overseas to Japan, and this comes out in the English version.

    From 1939, “One Fine Day” sung in English by Deanna Durbin;

    “Un bel di vedremo” sung in its original Italian by Renata Tebaldi;

    • Replies: @Kylie
    , @Kylie
    , @Lurker
  30. theMann says:

    Several of next week’s Operas are rebroadcasts from earlier in the year.

    Just remember – “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds” – Mark Twain.

    And the longest two weeks of my life was sitting through four hours of a live performance of Die Walkure. If you are new to the form, I would recommend starting with Mozart or Les Contes d’Hoffmann. And if you are up for five hours of Parsifal, more power to you.

    Be aware that the MET has a bad habit of period updating many Operas. Cosi Fan Tutti and La Sonnambula being updated by a century or two weren’t t0o bad, but La Fille du Regiment during WW I or Don Giovanni in the 1930’s were awful. And the minimalist production of La Traviata actually hurt to sit through – they wrecked performances by Sonya Yoncheva and Natalie Dessay both, and the performance by Sonya Yoncheva was one of the greatest nights of singing I have ever heard, in a really ugly staging. They also did a really weird production of Prince Igor, but Boris Godunov was tremendous – it is a pity they do so little Russian Opera.

    I EXTREMELY recommend watching and enjoying now – as fast as the USA is disintegrating, it may be many years before this opportunity repeats.

    • Replies: @baythoven
  31. @guest

    My exact complaint. You’ll ignore Wagner’s explicit stage directions (the man was basically a theater type who composed), but not cut a note of the music?

    The only Met update of recent years that I’ve enjoyed has been the “Las Vegas” Rigoletto. The Met was going to replace the set for Aida with a new one, leaving only La Boheme from its 80s-90s era of great sets, like the Ring set.

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
  32. @scrivener3

    A rich country like the US should have had something like this for a long time.

    The Met has been broadcasting operas on Saturdays since Regis Philbin was a baby. Texaco (“You can trust your car to the man who wears the star”) sponsored them for 63 years, a record in the radio business. Where have you been?

    Spirit of Radio

    For almost 90 years, millions of listeners have tuned in to the Met’s Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts. To date, the Met has presented more than 1,800 broadcasts, with opera lovers in 34 nations listening over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. Below is a small selection of noteworthy events in the annals of the longest-running continuous classical music program in American broadcast history…

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    , @Grumpy
  33. @Reg Cæsar

    The local classical station in Nashville used to broadcast the Met at the same time as the other opry was going on. Teehee. I remember listening to the hot licks of Strauss’s Salome in my hovel above Johnny’s Cash Market.

  34. “Free”?
    Is there an option where they pay me to listen, because that’s what it would take.

  35. tyrone says:
    @Dan Smith

    Yes, jen-u- wine who -mons

  36. Grumpy says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I have a memory from the 1990s of listening to a Texaco broadcast during which the booth announcers unerringly pronounced Don Quixote as “Don Kwix-oat,” but the Internet does not seem to confirm my memory of this production.

    In any case, the Internet does confirm that there are English speakers who prefer the anglicized pronunciation of Don Quixote.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  37. @scrivener3

    I’m not an audiophile, but those who are will switch the audio track to their stereo speakers.

    My main objections to opera are:

    • When a major company tries to politically modernize the production of an old classic.

    • Tax dollars granted to build palatial opera houses, and to subsidize $400K sinecures for music directors and GMs, and the cost of grand productions.

    • Union-scale wages given to the orchestra, set movers, etc., which help to make opera tickets so expensive.

    • A libretto in German.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  38. @audiophobe

    That’s ineffably sad. Maybe some kind of joke?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  39. @prosa123

    Like state and local government. Closed down, no services, but you’d damn well better pay your taxes on time. And the Dems insist that they need an additional trillion dollars of federal tax funds on top of that as well.

  40. baythoven says:

    Three of these productions I’ve seen and really liked: Rusalka, Walkure — both rather faithfully staged — and Agrippina — a wacky modernization.
    Even if the Agrippina is not quite to your taste, be sure to view the first scene of the second act, set in a bar. (You can fast forward.) It’s terrific fun, including an extended harpsichord riff performed by the conductor onstage.
    I’m keen on checking out the Boccanegra and the Parsifal.

  41. @TomSchmidt

    “My exact complaint. You’ll ignore Wagner’s explicit stage directions (the man was basically a theater type who composed), but not cut a note of the music?”

    Wrong. Wagner was a compositional genius. All musicians know this.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  42. This is good, because it means we don’t have to go into the city. That’s a huge pain in the ass. Too bad we’re not that into opera. But hey, we’ve gone to it in Transylvania, right here:

    Almost anything you can get in Manhattan you can get more easily and cheaply in many middle American cities (or little-known European ones.) That goes especially for food. Give me Denver any night of the week, in and out and home with cash to spare. NYC is vastly overrated.

    In other news, Jeopardy! is running old games on ABC. This week they’ve broadcast celebrity matches. Jody Foster, Martha Stewart and Eric Idle won each of their games. Didn’t see Steve Sailer.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    , @Grumpy
  43. vinteuil says:

    Hmmm…4 of the 10 conducted by James Levine. Has he been re-personed?

    His Parsifal should be avoided. Slower than Knappertsbusch. He’s trying too hard for what he takes for profundity.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  44. Cido says:

    I usually find Opera boring. The singers often aren’t good actors.

  45. @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    So you’re saying he WASN’T a theater type, what with the actor stepfather and all the time spent writing opera and drama? If he was only a compositional genius then it’s OK to ignore his innovations in other areas, like inventing the orchestra pit and his resurrection of Greek tragedy in music drama. The problem is the legend of the compositional genius overwhelms the theatrical genius.

    Am reading the Roger Scruton book on the Ring at the moment. He makes reference to a website that I will need to add to my reading. If you hear the leitmotifs in your head from reading them, you’re blessed. I can recommend the book, but it’s so far not as good a book on the Ring as I Saw The World End; that latter book, sadly unfinished, is, like Parsifal, lit from within.

    • Replies: @Pierre de Craon
  46. @Buzz Mohawk

    Almost anything you can get in Manhattan you can get more easily and cheaply in many middle American cities (or little-known European ones.)

    Except great opera. One advantage of smaller places is smaller houses, so singers who cannot fill the Met can be heard there.

    Cuomo is killing the performing arts in NYC, and if they die, they will not be reborn. Rebuilding the entangled networks of performers and sites and schools and coaches will not be possible in a declining empire that scorns its art, especially its art music. Granted the Met Opera audience is median 65 or so, he still ought to offer them the choice to go.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  47. baythoven says:

    A Walkure tip: Skip the first scene of Act II. (All that tiresome stuff with Wotan and Fricka.) But the second half of Act II is a must, as indeed are the first and third acts.

  48. Are they going to broadcast “Die Entfuhrung aus dem Seraglio” (The Rescue from the Moslem Gang-Rape Prison), which is all about the long, long, long history of White women being kidnapped and raped as sex slaves by… well, just about every flavor of POC on earth? And how that practice started centuries before 1619, and continues to this very day (Rotherham, lots of unspecified sites in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the emirates). Will this topic of the vastly longer history of White enslavement and rape by POCs come into discussion?

    No, I guess not, because that would involve accuracy and honesty.

  49. Alden says:

    Good for them. “In Union there is strength. “ As opposed to the conservative cubicle coolies mantra of “The only way a business can succeed is with low , lower and lowest wages. “

  50. @Grumpy

    In any case, the Internet does confirm that there are English speakers who prefer the anglicized pronunciation of Don Quixote.

    It’s Anglicized, damn it. Or Anglicised.

    The Brit pronunciation of “Quixote” would bring to American minds visions– or flavors– of Quaker products. “Nothing is better for thee than me.”

    Americans are better at Spanish than the rest of the Anglosphere, for obvious reasons. (Gibraltar may be an exception. May.) I notice that Canadians usually say “neesh” while the rest of us tend to “nitch”. “The riches are in the niches.”

    We were taught in school that Byron expected Don Juan to be pronounced “don jew-one”, to rhyme with “true one”.

    Key-oh-tay or kwix-oat: can you pronounce ‘Don Quixote’ properly?

    For some reason, Wikipedia doesn’t give the pronunciation of the San Juan Islands or San Juan County in Washington. I assume it’s the American way. I.e., Spanish. Just like their embrace of community property.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    , @Rob McX
  51. Grumpy says:

    The announcers saying “Kwix-oat” were Americans, but it was the first time I had heard that pronunciation so it stuck with me. I have been tempted to use it myself ever since.

    The San Juan Islands in Washington are pronounced with an American “San” (as in San Diego) and a Spanish “Juan” (as in Juan Valdez).

  52. @Aardvark

    In Dvořák’s Rusalka, are the Slavs going to be portrayed by oppressed black people?

    Not yet, but the Water Gnome is a black guy.

  53. @J.Ross

    pretty much Vathek but in real life

    Did you mean Woyzeck/Wozzeck?

  54. Grumpy says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The pace of the Jeopardy! games from the very first season was fast. The contestants could buzz in earlier than they can now, but they seemed especially sharp.

  55. @scrivener3

    Live opera is spectacular.

    It’s not just spectacular. A great performer—even a good enough performer—opens a hole to another world, from which pours forth soul, life, truth, triumph and despair.

    If words could describe it, there wouldn’t be Opera.


    I hesitate to append anything to this comment, but P.S., Kristine Opolais does a remarkably good job in Rusalka.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Herzog
    , @Herzog
  56. The big scene from Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”.

  57. @Almost Missouri

    Es wird mir ganz Angst um die Welt, wenn ich das Ewigkeit denk’!


    The couple in bed are so blond and European looking, they might as well be Nazis. Not very black-friendly of the Met!!

  59. SFG says:

    Nice to see a little bit of Western Civ still alive and kicking. Perhaps all is not lost.

    OT, here’s a funny article from the Atlantic:

    Basically, she’s admitting she’s wrong on the issues, but of course the question isn’t whether your hatefacts are right, but why you’re using them. It’s amusing but depressing and not surprising anymore how journalists don’t even pretend the truth matters anymore.

  60. @El Dato

    What is going on in that movie?

    Basically The Lion King with blackness turned up to 11^11.

  61. @SFG

    Where did she go to school? She doesn’t capitalize Euclidean, which suggests she’s never heard of Euclid. And hence, has no idea what the word means.

  62. @Anon

    But you must watch them the same night, each is only available for free for 24 hours, after that it’s $4.99 for each rental.

    The Met has 700+ recordings, many in HD. You can get a year’s subscription for $149, not much more than Amazon Prime. Or you could spend your money on Disney and watch Beyonce’s latest screed We be Kangz.

    If you click on a link in the 23 hour window, it will stay live past the 6:30 expiration time if you leave the window open. I have done this for 30+ hours. YMMV.

    The Met is the most spectacular opera in the world. They have a huge stage with scenary that is hard to believe, and an orchestra of 70+ musicians; they had 90+ for Wagner’s ring cycle including 5 harps.

    As a singer, you know you are on your way when you get invited to the Met, and your know you have arrived when you get invited back to the Met.

    Having said that, you can get a good seat in the first balcony for about $200.

  63. @Almost Missouri

    You can see Kristine Opolais in Rusalka right now until 6:30 tomorrow.

    The first act has the beautiful Song to the Moon:

  64. @SFG

    What’s more, if she changed her subject’s pronoun gender, it would be a somewhat right-slanted description of her own left-slanted writing.

    She writes competently, if not superlatively. But with all the Anglosphere’s writers to choose from, this is what The Atlantic has to show for itself?

    This got me wondering, how did this midwit young shiksa get such an enviable perch in contemporary journalism? Is there a Prestige Press casting couch?

    Then I realized she is married to Ezra Klein.

    So … yes, I guess.

  65. @Reg Cæsar

    She went to Harvard. (Cue all the — gender non-specific — jokes about how “you can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much.”)

    She’s also married to Ezra Klein. (They’re not making power couples like Henry Luce and Clare Boothe Luce anymore.)

  66. Anon[246] • Disclaimer says:

    The “Nice White Parents” podcast is turning out to be pretty hilarious. People who would never talk to a conservative outlet must figure, “Hey, New York Times, public radio, these are my people, what could go wrong?” and then proceed to unselfconsciously embarrass themselves on tape.

    But they really have no reasson to be embarassed. Episode 1 recounts a really ingeniously planned and executed white ambush gentrification of an underused neighborhood minority middle school. A big group of white parents banded together and agreed to choose it as their number one choice, and then all of a sudden it goes from a Hispanic/black school to a white school with some BIPOC mascots; then the whites set up their own big-time fundraising independently of the BIPOC PTA and use the money for “things white people like.”

  67. Kronos says:

    I still need to watch “Nixon in China.”

  68. @Reg Cæsar

    I had an incredibly old school prof. for a course in The English Novel — Boston, Harvard, Oxford, the whole nine yards — how he wound up in a crummy school in Canada was the subject of a short story in Playboy by his treacherous “colleague,” Joyce Carol Oates. (Not Quaker). I don’t recall him saying anything of any value for all that, but he was quite unselfconsciously Boston Brahmin. Qix-oat, certainly. He also casually mentioned learning Italian “from the servants.”

    Jew-on indeed. The iambic whatchamacallit it’s written in is found in many rap “songs,” like Sister Souljah’s one hit. By which I mean, you can actually read it aloud like a Public Enemy track.

    The worst are the British chefs. Ramsey with his pass-tuh. Elizabeth David, in her cookbook that supposedly introduced the Brits to Italian food, calls it “paste” which I guess is an attempt to translate the “foreign” word. The gloriously un-PC Two Fat Ladies were the best, though; they pronounced anything any way they damn well felt like it. “Don’t try to substitute yog-gurt for sour cream.” “I’m adding a bit of my favorite spice, jallapeeno.”
    Must have something to do with “Wogs begin at Calais” or something.

  69. dfordoom says: • Website

    They do their part by undercutting the works with incorrect settings, anachronisms, bizarre stage directions, weird sex and gore, and general disrespect.

    The main objective of opera companies these days is to trash opera. These people are not in the business of defending the western cultural heritage. Modernist productions of opera are designed for people who loathe the western cultural tradition. The objective is to hold that tradition up to ridicule.

  70. Lurker says:
    @El Dato

    2020: A Space Beyoncé

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  71. Lurker says:
    @Richard A.

    It’s a shame Deanna Durbin didn’t go into engineering. Then we might have had the Durbin turbine.

  72. 216 says:

    We are never allowed anything

    There are 23 Latin American countries

    And she won’t be content until the white man is erased in the only country we have.

  73. BenKenobi says:

    Opera is one Jeopardy! category I dread. Same with Composers and Playwrights.

  74. @HammerJack

    I juggled with similar ideas….

    With regard to the status of music, I remain ambivalent. I oscillate between two extreme positions: music is, potentially, to paraphrase Schopenhauer, a cathartic bathtub of spirit; on the other hand, it is a primitive, underdeveloped mode of expression & cognition.

    Serious thinkers have been divided on the power of music itself: for Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, perhaps Leibniz, Goethe, Schopenhauer, Tolstoy, Joyce, Proust, Popper … music was something profound & deeply shattering. On the other hand, for Kant, Hegel, Wagner (yes, Wagner), most of Dostoevsky, Heidegger, Russell, Kafka, Faulkner, Musil… – music was basically inferior, unable to express anything without the supreme power of the Word, and in some instances good only for humming and entertainment. For the first group, taken as a whole, music, in its pinnacle, was “deep”; for the other, it is “shallow”.

    I tend to agree with both groups.

  75. Herzog says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I also greatly enjoy Ms. Opolais doing Un bel dì vedremo as Madame Butterfly / Chocho-san.

    Granted, she may not be the best of all times with this aria in purely technical terms. Some comments in the Youtube comments section are pretty scathing, in fact (mostly by Italians; hm, what does that tell us?). But she brings the requisite feminity to the aria, in terms of her looks, womanly physique, and acting — unlike the great Ms. Tebaldi, it appears to me, who, while singing impeccably, is rather anodyne. At the same time, Ms. Opolais doesn’t overdo it Angela Gheorghiu style, making it too much about herself, and almost turning Chocho-san into a vamp.

  76. Herzog says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I also greatly enjoy Ms. Opolais doing Un bel dì vedremo as Madame Butterfly / Chocho-san.

    Granted, she may not be the best of all times with this aria in purely technical terms. Some comments in the Youtube comments section are pretty scathing, in fact (mostly by Italians; hm, what does that mean?). But she brings the requisite feminity to the aria, in terms of her looks, womanly physique, and acting — unlike the great Ms. Tebaldi, it appears to me, who is rather anodyne. At the same time, Ms. Opolaise doesn’t overdo it Angela Gheorghiu style, making it too much about herself, and almost turning Chocho-san into a vamp.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  77. I’ve been listening to these since you first posted about it. Thank you! and thanks to Met Opera for generously sharing their archive with everyone. I wish other cultural organisations were as generous.

  78. @Abolish_public_education

    Got to agree with the criticism of politically modernized productions. A modern production of Don Giovanni will have the Don coming across a peasant wedding in a field and all the people greet him like an equal. They won’t even stand and stop what they are doing when he approaches.

    Then he sings something like “please, sit, go on with your celebration” which hardly makes sense since that is what they were doing in the production.

    Yet under the reality of social structure at the time, nobility would totally disrupt everything, the wedding might even stop until he takes his leave. And DG instead of a super seducer is someone who abuses his social power to deflower and abandon lesser women.

  79. @Bardon Kaldian

    Kafka, Faulkner, and Musil ARE music, even if they didn’t know it. If “As I Lay Dying” isn’t music, then music doesn’t exist.

    If people are confused on this matter, they need to read the notoriously operatic “Night-town” chapter of Ulysses, and the scene in the newspaper office.

  80. Rob McX says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    It’s Anglicized, damn it. Or Anglicised.

    Merriam-Webster is OK with “anglicized”.

    In the Spanish of Cervantes’ time, Quixote was pronounced “Keeshotay”. As the pronunciation of the Spanish x shifted, the spelling of the novel’s Spanish title changed to keep up, while it stayed the same in English. It’s now spelt Don Quijote in Spanish.

    For some reason, Wikipedia doesn’t give the pronunciation of the San Juan Islands or San Juan County in Washington. I assume it’s the American way. I.e., Spanish.

    Maybe not. What about “Pasadeena”?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  81. @Rob McX

    Merriam-Webster is OK with “anglicized”.

    So is Oxford. To me, it’s just kissing fesse française.

    I was taught that English capitalized proper nouns and any verbs, adjectives, etc. which derive therefrom. Unless, as with french fries or dutch ovens, the word has been divorced from its original sense.

    But that’s clearly not the case with Anglicized. If we won’t defend our language from Continental encroachment, we’re sunk. Most of us can’t even spell blond anymore.

  82. @Herzog

    I saw The Mikado at the Met a few years ago and wasn’t all that impressed. I talked to a Greek doctor and his GF during the first intermission, and he said all the good parts were in the first act, and they left. He was right. The last two acts are whatsHerName whining about her lost love. Goes on forever.

  83. @TomSchmidt

    … it’s so far not as good a book on the Ring as I Saw The World End; that latter book, sadly unfinished, is, like Parsifal, lit from within.

    That you or anyone else is even aware of this book* comes as a happy surprise. That you appreciate its importance and profundity is virtually without precedent in my experience (seventy-five years’ worth). For the quoted insight alone, your comment stands head and shoulders above the thread’s other comments, which range from the well meant and politely anodyne to the ignorant and pretentious.

    I know that I shall read attentively anything else you write.
    *As you know but others may not, its author, Deryck Cooke, was a remarkable man, a man with an innate understanding of music enriched by scholarship and reflection. He did true music lovers almost as much of a disservice as he did himself when he took his own life.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  84. @TomSchmidt

    it just goes to show ya, you know a lot of things at 65 that you were ignorant of in your younger years. too bad you can’t have the knowledge of a 65 year old and the body of a 35 year old

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  85. @vinteuil

    Good comment, Vinteuil.
    Who is your preferred Parsifal interpreter?

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  86. @scrivener3

    “Ve become too soon old und too late schmart.”

  87. @Pierre de Craon

    There’s a man, based in NYC, named Jeffrey Swann. He often gives talks at the NY Wagner Society. He wrote his dissertation without any knowledge of Deryck Cooke, and it covers much the same ground. Swann would be my nominee for the man who could finish the book. If I were a billionaire, I’d pay him to do so.

    Just as Cooke “finished” Mahler’s 10th symphony, although his version wasn’t published until decades after his death. You’re right that he was an extraordinary man.

    You’ve doubtless read Donington’s The Ring and its Symbols, and The Perfect Wagnerite by Shaw, and perhaps also Turning the Sky Around. If you were advising someone to read a book on the Ring, or Parsifal, or Die Meistersinger, aside from the ones already mentioned, what would it be? (The Tristan Chord was interesting but more a book on philosophy than Wagner’s music; Magee’s other Wagner book is also a great read.)

  88. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Who is your preferred Parsifal interpreter?

    Conductor, Orchestra & Chorus: Karajan & the BPO.
    Parsifal: Jon Vickers
    Kundry: Martha Mödl
    Amfortas: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Gurnemanz: Hans Hotter

    …in my dreams.

    In the real world, I find Rafael Kubelik’s 1980 recording with James King, Yvonne Minton, Bernd Weikl & Kurt Moll pretty satisfying.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    , @Old Palo Altan
  89. vinteuil says:

    Oh, and: the bells from Karl Muck’s 1927 recording of the Grail Scene must be spliced in.

  90. @vinteuil

    At first I thought it might be real … oh well, in the meantime I prefer the Muck- Siegfried Wagner offerings.

    Over the past two nights I have listened to the Knappertsbusch Bayreuth performance from 1964. It began well enough and continued so for the first two hours and then fell off quite spectacularly – I could hardly listen to the last hour, so disjointed it was. It lacked most grievously that first note to last unity of conception and development which is for me the touchstone of a superior conductor.
    I’ll happily listen to your recommendation, but very likely not until next week – I’m all Parsifaled out for the time being.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  91. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    I’m not quite so negative as you on Knappertsbusch’s last performance at Bayreuth – but, yeah, he was losing his grip, by that time.

    Rafael Kubelik was at his best in Wagner. His Lohengrin & Parsifal are very, very good. And his Meistersinger is, all in all, the best on record.

  92. Just listened to the only bit of his Parsifal I could fid on Youtube. Flawless and original.

    Then his Siegfried Idyll: normally I get a bit bored around three quarters of the way in: might one even say that the Master goes astray for a moment?

    But here my attention and admiration were untroubled.

    Thank you for an experience I had not expected again, now just getting into the stride of my eighth decade.

    Even my unquenchable snobbery is satisfied: the son of a countess, whose uncle was briefly Prime Minister of Hungary (before the Cataclysm, when such things mattered).

    And a principled anti-Communist, which very likely mens that cancellation is not far off.

    Damn these wretched, pigmyfied times.

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