There’s No Madness Like Opera Madness: Netrebko’s Lucia

I went to see the Met’s HD Broadcast of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor this afternoon. Lucky for me, Rolando Villazon was sick, I cannot stand him, beautiful voice, horrible acting, so a great young Polish tenor – Piotr Beczala – took his place and did a great job. Netrebko’s back and she’s as great as ever – madness scene was as mad as they come, although Netrebko was less “wild eyes” crazy and more “I look quiet but I am very crazy on the inside” – if you get a chance to see the encore on 2/18, you should give it a chance. Click here for more details (especially if you are a young philosophical type with nothing but philosophy on your mind, get a bit of a life, see an opera, will you?)

“Met at the Movies” – Macbeth (Željko Lučić, Maria Guleghina)

This is not a review of “Met at the Movies” – 1/12 and 1/13 Macbeth – this is a personal account, a testimony, if you will.  To read some reviews, scroll all the way to the bottom.


“Met at the Movies” became “Met to the Masses” this weekend around the country (and the globe) with the HD Broadcast of Verdi’s Macbeth – there is no Macbeth like white middle class suburb huge-movie-theater Macbeth.  I shall begin with major complaints: please, dear marketing department at the Met, please stop this patronizing and utterly idiotic campaign of “Met to the Masses”!  “Masses” are not going to go to the opera because it is expensive and absolutely counter-intuitive… Wait, did I just speak for the masses? My bad, masses.  Seriously, I realize that Met wants to bring the high art to the masses, but if it really cared about such artistic “enlightenment” it would broadcast its operas for free.  Opera is not going to save anyone from unemployment or poverty or lack of health insurance.  Its only chance is to be the opium for the people, but that particular role is already played by TV, sports, alcohol, actual opium, and pies…

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(UPDATES): “Met at the Movies” – Romeo et Juliette (Roberto Alagna, Anna Netrebko)

“Met at the Movies” – apparently this is an official title for a series of HD Broadcasts from Metropolitan Opera to god-only-knows how many places on the surface of the earth, if you are still living in a cave and have not heard about this program (that entered its second year on 12/15 with a broadcast of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette), then feel very very guilty and check out the information here

A friend from an operatically advanced Portland and I went to a performance at a local movie theater.  I think that despite very cold weather, a depressingly old age of the audience and an enormous amount of Russian-speaking opera lovers, we have managed to enjoy the broadcast. I think the whole “behind-the-scenes” segments between acts were very poorly done and I found them to be very distracting and, honestly, anticlimactic.  Alanga was great, even if too old to play a teenager in love, and Netrebko was a bit weak, I thought, in the first couple of Acts when she had to play a silly young girl in love, but she got increasingly better(both singing and acting) as things got a bit more tragic and gloomy – the finale was quite excellent!

This is a recap from Met’s Blog: Posted by Matt Dobkin on 12/15/2007

Today was the first of the Met’s 8 high-definition transmissions this season, and the excitement in the opera house was palpable. TV trucks were parked behind the house on Amsterdam Avenue, and camera crews raced around the house capturing behind-the-scenes action for the international audience. Continue reading