Andrew's Opera was previously published at

10 June, 2017

Further notes on the 50th Anniversary Metropolitan Opera Gala 7th May 2017.

There were 28 discrete pieces (taking Boheme Act I as three, Dmitry one, overture one, Aida Triumphal March as one, etc.  [see below for my notes on the night]
The seats cost either $1966 or $950 with standing room $50 on the day.   And there were sporadic single seats available on the internet Met site in the days leading up to the event.  The marketing therefore was near perfect as a fund raiser as well as a celebration for those prepared to take a financial hit (and most was tax-deductible for US residents). 
I note it is actually 51 years since the current opera house’s first performance (see Wiki page documenting first performance (La Fanciulla del West) for students was 11th April 1966 with formal opening with Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra on 16 September 1966 which is 50 years ago last September.  But hell, any time is a good time for a party, so party they/we did.  It may have been the finest line-up of opera talent in a very long time.
Conspicuous by their absence were: Jonas Kaufmann (long booked for Cavaradossi in Vienna); Villazon (no explanation); Florez (doctor’s certificate); Mr Furlanetto (?).
These are the names who were advertised to be singing on the night: Piotr Beczała, Ben Bliss, Stephanie Blythe, Javier Camarena, Diana Damrau, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo, Michael Fabiano, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Elīna Garanča, Susan Graham, Vittorio Grigolo, Mariusz Kwiecien, Isabel Leonard, Željko Lučić, Amanda Majeski (??), Angela Meade, James Morris, Anna Netrebko, Kristine Opolais, Eric Owens, René Pape, Matthew Polenzani, Rolando Villazón, Michael Volle, Pretty Yende and Sonya Yoncheva.  But we need to add the surprise of the night: Dmitry Hvorotovsky. 
Despite high ticket prices and few 'complimentary' seats (eg. Richard Bonynge and a few other first season participants) this should have been one of the most opera-savvy audiences imaginable.  Nevertheless, inexplicably there was still premature applause in the middle of Lady Macbeth’s first act scena with Anna Netrebko as well as in La Traviata Act I finale with Ms Damrau (and Mr Polenzani off-stage – who BTW omitted the high option in his one-liners). 
Although there were no obvious cameras in the hall to my surprise the Met released the clips below on YouTube a few days after the event.  These, I would estimate, comprise no more than 25% of the concert for all to enjoy.  None was the full item and some ended abruptly (such as 'Nemico della patria').  It is a mystery to me why the concert was not filmed on HD video for future use, not to mention for historical purposes.  This was like 30 singing lessons.  I have since heard from an insider that a documentary was made about the entire process leading up to this gigantic concert.  I was keen to know who got the main dressing-room(s)! 

Comments by Andrew Byrne, Sydney drug doctor. 

Below are some links I found on searching YouTube:
Si, mi chiamano Mimi (Sonya Yoncheva):
O soave fanciulla (Calleja; Yoncheva):
Quando le sere al placido (Piotr Beczala):
Cortigiani vil razza dannata (Hvorostovsky):
Qual voluttà trascorrere (Angela Meade, Michael Fabiano, Günther Groissböck)
Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix (Elīna Garanča):
Bel raggio lusinghier (Joyce DiDonato):
Aida triumphal march (Gala Finale with Latonia Moore; Dolores Zajick and many more):
Met Gala curtain calls (one by one then grand finale with conductors and tutti:
Nemico della patria.   (just audio, no video from NPR)