A Great Start for Peter Gelb
So far this year, I am happy to report that intelligent innovation has been at the forefront at the MET, especially with the new productions of Madama Butterfly and Orfeo ed Euridice. The Anthony Minghella production of Butterfly that began this season, and the Mark Morris production of Orfeo that ended it (I caught its last performance at the matinée of May 12) were highlights in a year that also brought us new productions of Il Trittico and The Barber of Seville among others, as well as exciting revivals of Giulio Cesare, I Puritani, and four memorable performances of Die Meistersinger, these being the only Richard Wagner heard at the house this year.
Next year will be very busy when it comes to new productions. We will see a new Lucia di Lammermoor (badly needed, I'm sure you'll agree) as well as another import from the English National Opera, this time Philip Glass's Satyagraha. I saw this production a few weeks ago in London, and, as I reported in an earlier post, we are in for a treat next year. The staging is quite extraordinary, and I am sure that both the critics and audiences will be very impressed. I also look forward to a new staging of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. The old production of Grimes, like the MET's former production of Otello by Franco Zeffirelli, is irreplaceable, I feel, but if truth be told, it has given us decades of memories, and it is time to take a look at that great 2oth Century English opera with a new set of eyes.
The MET feels important once again after one year of having Peter Gelb at the helm. He is the new seat of eyes (and ears) that the institution needed. Let us hope that this forward drive continues into his second year and beyond.