The (unofficial) Metropolitan Opera Guide to Long-Distance Relationships

What do you do if you are in New York but your spouse is spending the next ten weeks performing in Vienna? Singers around the Metropolitan Opera offer strategies, ideas and methods for dealing with the dreaded long-distance relationship.

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Libiamo!: Opera’s Love Affair with Booze

If, amidst the tsunami of the weekend's various political activities, you missed the live HD broadcast of Bartlett Sher's inspired production of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, fear not! There will be an encore broadcast in movie theaters around the country on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30pm. And, of course, you'll have 7 more opportunities to witness the “white hot sensuality and impassioned lyricism” (New York Times) of Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau live at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City (the show closes on March 18th).  

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It’s a beautiful day for a Dress Rehearsal; Let’s sing two!

There are two season premieres at the Metropolitan Opera this week: Carmen on Thursday (1/19) and Rigoletto on Friday (1/20). Back-to-back openings? Pretty unusual! But what it took to prepare for them was even more unusual. On Monday (1/16) the Met had no public performance in the evening. However, that doesn't mean all was quiet; in the morning was the final dress rehearsal for Carmen and, in the evening, Rigoletto. Two final dress rehearsals in one day! As far as I could discover that had never happened before! For the occasion I decided to keep a running diary of the day. So, without further ado:

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The Met Opera Chorus Recommends: Gifts for the Holidays!

An exhaustive gift guide for the opera lover in your life from the Metropolitan Opera Chorus!

It’s that time of year!  The annual season of love, joy and family.  Oh… and gifts… gifts are kind of a thing this time of year too!  With that in mind, the Met Opera Chorus have put their collective heads together to find the perfect gift for your biggest opera loving friend or family member.  So, without further ado, to the list!

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A Chorister's Bohemian Rhapsody

A deep dive into the many casting choices of La bohème

La bohème Act 1

(The scene: a shabby radio-studio garret, overlooking the rooftops of Washington D.C.)

Rodolfo: Robert Siegel (Who but the host of All Things Considered could play this part?!)
Mimi: Lakshmi Singh (Hands down best name in NPR, "ma il suo nome è Lucia”.)
Marcello: Steve Inskeep
Musetta: Terry Gross (That flirt!)
Colline: the Car Talk guys (Controversial pick, I know, particularly since one of them has sadly passed away, but their combination of wisdom and humor is perfect for the philosopher-bass.)
Schunard: Ira Glass (Understudy: Ira Flatow)
Alcindoro: Garrison Keillor
Benoit: Carl Kassel (perhaps not coincidentally my Alcindoro & Benoit have both recently retired)
Parpingol: an NPR pledge drive
Chorus: the many and variously accented correspondents of the BBC News Service

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Chorus Costumes from Fitting to Finale

Spotlight on Roberto Devereux's costumes designed by Moritz Junge

As we rehearse on stage for the premiere of Sir David McVicar’s Metropolitan Opera production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux on Mar 24th, 2016, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the importance of costumes and costume designers in opera. Moritz Junge, the designer of the beautiful costumes you see here made his Met Opera debut in McVicar’s recent production of Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. He has shared with us some photos of the trim and baubles used to decorate these Jacobean-era costumes for Roberto Devereux, as well as photos from our costume fittings for the opera, most of which occurred last fall.

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La Donna del Lago from a Chorister's perspective

The first time that I heard La Donna del Lago was in college. It was a recording of Marilyn Horne and I wondered if I would ever get to hear it live because it was staged so infrequently. That, and who could sing the demanding role of Elena?

Fast forward to 2015 and I’m in utter disbelief that I’m only mere feet away from Joyce DiDonato and Lawrence Brownlee, the main characters in Rossini’s operatic adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s 1810 narrative poem. They both make it look so easy and my predominant thought is how people should be beating the door down to hear this indescribably beautiful singing – and it’s LIVE! Real, live people singing in the most extraordinary, beautiful bel canto style. The whole cast is truly wondrous.

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Spotlight on Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts

La Bohème, December 5, 2015

Chorister Daniel Clark Smith joins an elite group of performers with his performance of Parpignol in La Bohème which marks his 100th solo performance at the Metropolitan Opera. The Performers Report, found on the Met’s website in the Archives, lists all company members who have performed 100 solo roles or more. Conductors, Dancers, and Singers are listed, with big names (Maestro James Levine at 2491) and small (dancer Linda Gelinas at 436, who just retired from the ballet last season) on the same formidable list. Daniel joins over 40 current and retired choristers in this distinction. You have seen the Chorus nightly as the townspeople and villagers in any given opera, but there are many opera roles that are actually performed by singers from the Chorus.

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