Yesterday afternoon I flew to Boston for the last of Johannes' four concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After replacing James Levine for a concert performance of Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio in Tanglewood this past summer, it was Johannes' official debut with the orchestra in Boston, this time replacing Sir Colin Davis (who had withdrawn for health reasons) in a beautiful classical program with Mozart's Symphony No. 32 and Clarinet Concerto as well as Haydn's Symphony No. 97. As I had never heard the Boston Symphony live before it was a privilege to hear them in the fabulously warm acoustics of Symphony Hall and conducted by our Music Director. I'm really proud that they invited Johannes back so soon after his Tanglewood debut. Having our Music Director conduct the great orchestras of the world makes him a wonderful ambassador of our company.
Now I'm at Logan International Airport waiting for my flight back to Toronto. We have a big day for Ariadne auf Naxos today, with the last orchestra reading this morning and the first piano rehearsal on stage in the evening. Orfeo is still rehearsing at Front Street, but Cenerentola will have its final run-through with orchestra (the last rehearsal before the dress) on Friday already.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Music Director / comments (2) / permalink
Yesterday, I wrapped up my New York trip with two great performances.
On a rare excursion into the world of theatre I went to the Duke Theatre on 42 Street to see Arin Arbus' production of Shakespeare's Macbeth with John Douglas Thompson and Annika Boras as the evil couple. The intimate, small space of the Duke made for a truly visceral experience. It felt like sitting in the play rather than watching it. Very powerful.
When James Levine, returning from a series of recent cancellations, stepped in the pit yesterday evening the Met audience greeted him with a thunderous ovation, one of the most moving moments in my years of attending performances at the house. The performance that followed did everybody proud, the maestro, the excellent cast (Alan Held as Wozzeck and Waltraud Meier as Marie) and the fabulous Met Orchestra. When I saw Alan Held (coming to the COC as Simone and Gianni Schicchi next season) on stage after the performance he asked: "So, when are we doing this in Toronto?" I would love to take him on. For me, Wozzeck belongs to the very small group of operas that I call the perfect pieces. My last Wozzeck was in Paris in 2008 and I can't wait to do it again.
Fog permitting I will be back in Toronto before noon for the joint concert of the members of the Atelier lyrique from Montreal and our own Ensemble Studio singers, our annual Fine Wine Auction (at Crush Wine Bar, from 6 p.m. tonight) and the first on-stage rehearsal of La Cenerentola.
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The Met's new production of Rossini's Le Comte Ory is a stunning piece of casting. Having Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato and Stéphane Degout share the same stage is almost too good to be true and they all were in fabulous form last night.
I'm here for two busy days of meetings and performances. Yesterday, I had lunch with Rufus Wainwright and Laurie Anderson. Now I'm off to see Catherine Malfitano, Edith Wiens, a new production of Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Duke Theatre and tonight I'll be back at the Met for Berg's Wozzeck.
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