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11 April, 2011

Wozzek inter alia.

Dear Friends,

The Metropolitan Opera has restaged Berg's Wozzek. Although being one of the great works and a star case it is not my cup of tea being intellectual and dissonant. A mischievous friend wrote to say that I should know that half-way through it reverses and runs backwards so that it ends at the beginning.

This was also the Met debut of Australian tenor Stuart Skelton (Drum Major) along with Gerhard Seigel (Captain), Alan Held (title), Maltraud Meier (Marie) conducted by an extremely frail looking James Levine. The orchestration is phenomenal, complex and loud, if not always exactly beautiful. The last two scenes are particularly novel. The opera received a huge ovation in the house and especially the beloved maestro.

I will have been fortunate to hear Tosca, Romeo and Juliette, Queen of Spades, Rheingold, Otello and Comte Ory (see my notes on the opera blog). Some names include Domingo (conducting), Stephanie Blythe, Violeta Urmana, Salvatore Licitra, James Morris, Hei-Kyung Hong, Piotr Beczala, Vladimir Galouzine, Peter Mattei, Juan Diego Florez, Joyce deDonato, Diana Damrau, Dolora Zajick, James Levine and Riccardo Muti. Tickets for all operas were all easy to obtain over the internet, most costing less than $100 for excellent positions in the house. It makes the quality and price of opera in Sydney seem to be very poor options.

More notes on Comte Ory and Otello next week.