Saturday, November 28, 2009

T-minus two weeks

To celebrate two weeks until the Met's first radio broadcast of the season, here are some videos of pieces from the operas that will be broadcast (including seven that were recorded at the Met). Enjoy!

O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi from Il Trittico. I remember asking Tom about this when I heard it for the first time in '99 and at the time I really wanted to hear it in context. I forgot about that dream until I saw that the Met will be performing it this year.

Song of Olympia (Les oiseaux dans la charmille) from Les Contes d'Hoffmann. I think Natalie looks like Shirley Temple in this production. Tom has a CD of highlights from the opera and before I left for NBCCD I listened to it constantly. Especially the Entr'acte, which I can't wait to hear the MOO play.

The final scene from Elektra with Deborah Voight, who'll be singing it this season. Besides this video (which was recorded at the Met) I've never heard of this opera.

A scene from Hansel und Gretel. This is from the simulcast that the Met did in '07/'08. Wonderful music (BRAVO MOO!!!) mixed with a wonderful mess. I bet this production is a lot of fun since by the end of the performance the lead singers are absolutely covered in food. Note the KitchenAid mixer.

WOW! I can't wait to hear this for the first time.

The Habañera from Carmen. I've heard a few pieces from the opera, but it'll be nice to hear the whole thing.

This is another one that I've never heard of--but I'll take anything the Met throws at me. This one won't be live, though: it'll be an archive performance from 1958.

Ditto for this opera--but bring it on!

...and this one.

Brace yourself for the high C's--BRAVISSIMO! This is Pavarotti's very first performance of this opera at the Met (1972). This is one of the few times when I actually feel sorry for those who don't like opera (not everyone has to like the same thing): this is such a classic, monumental performance. The high C's (middle C's) are difficult for a tenor to reach and are sometimes downgraded to B natural to make it easier to sing.

Let's just say that this year I'll be hearing a lot of operas that I've never heard of before.

This is one of my favourite operas. It's also the Met's most-performed opera. Tom gave me this performance on DVD for Christmas last year (I'd seen it on TV a few months before). Dig out the kleenexes: the Met knows how to make me cry--and enjoy it at the same time.

The summery of this opera sounds ridiculously intriguing, but I'm not exactly a fan of the music.

Now this is one I could get into--it looks so darn cool! (And it's another one that I've never heard before)

Natalie will be be singing this role at the Met this year. Yet another one that I'll hear for the first time.

This is one of those pieces that I've never heard in context. This was recorded at the Met in '89.

Glory to the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra! If you want a reason why I love that orchestra, here's one--now go listen to the demo of the Hunters' Chorus played by the French horns for the other reason (if you decide to listen to that, prepare to have your socks knocked off by eight wonderful musicians). For the last couple of seasons the Met has been performing a "Family Production" of the opera, which is shortened to one act (it was the first simulcast). As for the overture, just the first three notes are played. This season, however, the Met is performing the whole thing--YAAAAY!

I know almost every word of this piece and have heard it live (André Rieu and the JSO). I also love the Overture, but have never heard either one in context.

I'm familiar with this piece, but I've never heard it in context.

This is one that I've never heard of before, but it sounds really cool.

This will be the Met's final broadcast of the season and it's yet another one that I've never heard of before.

Last season I realized how big the world of opera is and how much I have to learn and this year is no different. The Met is a good teacher and I'm enjoying learning from one of the greatest opera companies (and orchestras) in the world.

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