Metropolitan Opera

Oct. 17 Met simulcast: Otello

Aleksandrs Antonenko as Otello and Sonya Yoncheva as Desdemona in the Met production of Verdi's "Otello" (phpto: Ken Howard)

The Met delivers a colorblind ‘Otello’ whose Moor is as white as Desdemona 



Should dramatic integrity in Shakespeare be compromised in the name of “political correctness?”



By David Abrams

Opera audiences have long grown accustomed to colorblindness in the casting of principal roles, content to sacrifice some degree of dramatic credibility in order to experience a diversity of singing actors…

Mar. 19 Met (Live): Lucia di Lammermoor

The Met’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ a vocal, though not dramatic, triumph

Mary Zimmerman’s still-fresh production is made fresher still by Shagimuratova’s glimmering voice, but the acting disappoints

By David Abrams

There’s lots of life left in Mary Zimmerman’s handsomely staged and remarkably fresh Metropolitan Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor, which debuted in 2007 with Natalie Dessay in the title role and has been reprised here several times since.

There’s lots of life, too, in the voice of Albina Shagimuratova — the title character in the company’s 2015 reprisal that opened March 16…

Jan. 7 Met (Live): La Traviata

The Met’s ‘La Traviata’ lean on glamour, rich in insight

Beyond the austere set and surreal visuals, Willy Decker’s controversial 2010 Met production probes deeply into the heroine’s psyche

By David Abrams

Willy Decker’s now five-year-old Met production of La Traviata, like the bottles of champagne uncorked during the bubbly Libiamo, appears to improve with age…

Jan. 9 Met (Live): Les Contes d’Hoffmann

A paucity of memorable stage moments in the Met’s ‘Tales of Hoffmann’

David Rubin reviews the final dress rehearsal of the reprise of the 2009 Bartlett Sher production and finds that the director lacks a strong point of view

By David Rubin

The first question to ask about any performance of Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann is which version of the piece was performed. The opera was left unfinished at the composer’s death in 1880; there is no accepted critical edition…

Nov. 22 Met simulcast: Il Barbiere di Siviglia

The Met’s nicely coiffed ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ a vocal delight, but the laughs don’t ‘cut it’

The comedic elements take a haircut in this revival of Rossini’s beloved opera buffa

By David Rubin

Bartlett Sher’s 2006 Metropolitan Opera production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia has been acclaimed for its wit, effervescence and a distinctive feature of the set: a passerelle…

Nov. 1 Met simulcast: Carmen

The Met mounts a well sung but dramatically unconvincing ‘Carmen’

Should looks matter when casting the role of the iconic temptress for HD simulcast?

By David Abrams

Operagoers have long grown accustomed to sacrificing dramatic integrity for a rewarding musical experience. Joan Sutherland was in her ‘60s when she sang Gilda in scenes from Verdi’s Rigoletto at a Met Gala concert in 1987. Her singing brought the house down, though it’s unlikely that anyone in the theater believed this could be the title character’s teenage daughter…

Oct. 18 Met (Live): Le Nozze di Figaro

The Met’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ a happy marriage of ensemble singing and acting

The cast of supporting roles was especially strong in the company’s new production of Mozart’s matchless masterpiece

By David Rubin

If I could bottle one production of one opera to pour for friends who have never seen an opera before but are curious about the art form, it would be this new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York…

Oct. 11 Met simulcast: Macbeth

Anna Netrebko, now a dramatic soprano, shines in the Met’s dark and murky ‘Macbeth’

The former lyric soprano holds up well — and survives the intrusive close-up camerawork of the ‘Live in HD’ transmission

By David Abrams

Ever since the September 24 opening of the Met’s current production of Verdi’s Macbeth, critics have been pretty much unanimous in their acclaim for Anna Netrebko’s portrayal of the iconic Lady Macbeth. The praise is well deserved, all the more so considering the transformation of vocal timbre she had to undergo to prepare for this role. By the time of Saturday’s Live in HD simulcast, about the only question remaining was how the Russian superstar would withstand the intense scrutiny of the close-up camerawork…