This was the first time we were invited to the opening of the Met's season and it was a special evening indeed, starting with a walk on the red carpet in Lincoln Plaza and ending with the biggest black tie dinner I have ever seen in a huge tent next to the Met after the performance.
And, of course, this year's opening was a Canadian affair with the first installment of Robert Lepage's highly anticipated new Ring Cycle. It is completely impossible to judge what a complete cycle will look like after having seen Rheingold only, but the beginning was auspicious and at times very impressive. The already famous (and very heavy) unit set didn't fail to show off its almost unlimited ability for transformation even though a technical failure at the end of the opera denied us the Gods' entry to Valhalla. I'm looking forward to the remaining three operas of the cycle with great curiosity.
For me, however, the most memorable part of the evening was the superlative playing of the Met Orchestra conducted by James Levine, celebrating his 40th season at the Met. The level of transparency and detail he achieved in a well-paced, energetic reading was simply breathtaking. The cast lived up to the high level established by the orchestra. From the Rhinemaidens to Wotan there wasn't a single weak link and it would be difficult to choose between Bryn Terfel's impressive Wotan or Eric Owen's powerful Alberich, between Stephanie Blythe's regal Fricka or Patricia Bardon's warm Erda. A very impressive line-up of great artists that did Wagner and the Met extremely proud.
It was a huge privilege to represent the COC yesterday evening in New York.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (4) / permalink
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