Tag Archives: Anna Netrebko

Met opens Monday night…see y’all on Twitter?

Eugene Onegin photo

Eugene Onegin opens at the Met Monday night, starring Met darlings Mariusz Kwiecien and Anna Netrebko.

A wonderful small tradition has emerged on Twitter that occurs round about the third Monday in September.

Not everyone can attend opening night in Lincoln Center or watch it in Times Square. Here’s the next best thing:

An Opening Night TwitFest.

Many opera junkies in the U.S. and across the pond listen to the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night via Live Stream while meeting up on Twitter to dish about the production, the performers.

Sounds like fun? You have no idea how much fun it is. Word! We’re talking star power, sex appeal, gossip, innuendo, admiration, infatuation–all expressed in 140 characters with the hashtag #MetOn.

The fun begins with the Met Opera interns who Tweet photos of the glitterati arriving for Opening Night. Some look better than others dressed to the nines. It’s even entertaining if they’re a bit of an eyesore.

To say that listeners are enraptured is an understatement. One Twitter listener photographed himself doing pirouhettes  and shared the pic. Retweets abound.

It took a while for the Metropolitan Opera to catch on that they should float a hashtag in advance of the event, so we could all find each other.

But they finally got their you-know-what together and eventually they started publicizing #MetOn in advance of the event and even using it themselves. Better late than never.

I’m glad there’s a dedicated hashtag so that we can easily find each other. But this is an evening not to be missed. Since we are listening only, we’ll miss all the expected directorial gaffes.

So, I hope to see you on Twitter Monday night, September 23, 6:30!  Netrebko, Kwiecien, Valery Gergiev conducting.

The Met is definitely On.

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, North American Opera, opera star power, Russian opera

celebrating favorite Verdi arias on his birthday

When a composer like Giuseppe Verdi has numerous operas still performed in the repertoire, favorite arias pile up–even more so than favorite Verdi operas–because there are so many more arias to choose from.

Thank you, Giuseppe Verdi, for these exquisite arias, and thank you friends on Twitter and Facebook for sharing your favorites for  this digital birthday tribute. Enjoy:

From Rigoletto:  “Parmi veder le lagrime” with Ramon Vargas

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From Stiffelio: ‘Perder dunque voi volete’  with Catherine Malfitano

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From Il Trovatore: “Di quella pira” with Luciano Pavarotti

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From La Traviata: “Ah forse lui – Sempre Libera”  with Anna Netrebko

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Filed under Audience participation, Classic Opera, Classical Composers, Uncategorized, Video

best opera singers in the world today – female persuasion

As promised, here are the female artists that a discriminating, opera-loving group of Twitterers suggested as the best women performing today. Now, as I mentioned when I posted the men’s list, I was seeking a list of opera greats who are not just living but are performing and can still “cut the mustard,” as Stephanie Brooke said.

So that’s why you don’t see opera great Jessye Norman on this list. Nor do you see promising up-and-comers such as Latonia Moore, Ailyn Pérez (whom I just saw in Opera Company of Philadelphia’s Romeo and Juliet and reviewed very favorably), and Amber Wagner.

Unable to find an already published list from which to draw, this USA Today article naming the best stars of the 1990’s was too old, I created my own, with a little help from my friends.

Anna Netrebko will sing Anna Bolena for the Met in 2011-12

Besides being recording favorites, some of the singers such as Cecelia Bartoli and Anne Sofie von Otter are frequently enjoyed in live recitals. For a wonderful write up of Anne Sofie von Otter’s New York recital, see this post at Opera Obsession. Others like Angela Gheorghiu might be has-beens next year if they keep pulling out of Met productions. (Was her nose bent out of shape because images of Anna Netrebko as Anna Bolena appeared to dominate the marketing collateral for the Met’s 2011-12 season?)

So, what do you think? Have I included your favorite(s) in the list below? If not, please feel free to include in the comments.

– Cecilia Bartoli, Italian mezzo-soprano

Olga Borodina

– Olga Borodina, Russian mezzo soprano

– Sarah Connolly, British mezzo soprano

Fiorenza Cedolins, Italian soprano

– Diane Damrau, German lyric coloratura soprano

Annette Dasch

– Annette Dasch, German soprano

– Natalie Dessay, French coloratura soprano

Mariella Devia, Italian soprano

Joyce DiDonato, American mezzo soprano

Renée Fleming, American soprano

– Angela Gheorghiu, Romanian soprano

Anja Harteros

Anja Harteros, German soprano

– Magdalena Kožená, Czech mezzo-soprano

– Aleksandra Kurzak, Polish coloratura soprano

– Waltraud Meier, German dramatic soprano

Anna Netrebko, Russian soprano

Patricia Racette

– Patricia Racette, American soprano

Sondra Radvanovsky, American soprano

– Dorothea Röschmann, German soprano

– Rinat Shaham, Israeli mezzo soprano

Nina Stemme

– Nina Stemme, Swedish soprano

Anne Sofie von Otter, Swedish mezzo-soprano

Don’t forget to check out the male singers identified as the best in the world today.

And thanks again to the lively informed Twitter “opera” community for their recommendations!


Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Best of Operatoonity, Performers, Poll

Met’s ‘Live in HD’ — cash cow or godsend?

Anna Nebtrebko in Manon /Covent Garden Production photo by Bill Cooper

Should the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series The Met: Live in HD  be considered a cash cow or a godsend? 

More of a godsend, dear readers. And here’s why. The Met pays plenty to offer Live in HD to 1,500  theaters in 46 countries. In a recent statement to opera media, Met officials stated that nine live transmissions grossed $48 million while netting $24 million in the last completed season, 2009-10.  That means the participating theaters earned a healthy premium of  revenue, such a healthy portion, it might be considered fatback in the deep American South. 

But what the healthy figures (more than seven million HD tickets sold worldwide since the HD series began five seasons ago) don’t show is how The Met: Live in HD is building audience for live opera. Yes, live opera. 

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don G. / photo by Nick Heavican, Metropolitan Opera

It is a hugely impactful outcome–that Live in HD can build younger and broader audiences worldwide–precisely what opera, the art form, needs. And cinema opera brings in revenue–to the tune of $24 million, which buys a lot of period costumes (and other stuff) for shows like Don Giovanni (scheduled for HD Live, October 29, 2011.) 

Whenever the Met transmits an HD broadcast, it always encourages viewers to frequent live opera–of course, at the Met, but in their hometowns and home countries as well. 

In a recent event announcing their 2011-12 season, Managing Director Peter Gelb affirmed that Live in HD is serving current audiences as well as building future audiences for opera. 

“Our tour guides who interact with tourists to the Met report far greater numbers.  Most tourists come with a mission to see a landmark in the house that they’ve seen in HD shows.  The main purpose of The Met: Live in HD is to increase the bond between the Met and our global audience, and increase attendance.” — Peter Gelb 

 The Met has announced eleven Live in HD productions for 2011-12 and they are:  Anna Bolena on October 15; Don Giovanni on October 29; Siegfried on November 5; Satyagraha on November 19; Rodelinda on December 5; Faust on December 10; The Enchanted Island on January 21; Gotterdammerung on February 11; Ernani on  February 25; Manon on April 7; and La Traviata on April 14. 

'The Enchanted Island' / Photo by Nick Heavican

Tickets go on sale in September. Met members in the U.S. and Canada have ticket priority before general viewing public. 

Happy viewing. And if fish have lips, I’ll be stuffing my face with popcorn during Don G in fall of 2011.


Filed under 21st Century Opera, Don Giovanni, North American Opera, Opera broadcasts

Happy New Year, Operatoonists! Here’s your fave December opera!

Earlier this month I conducted a poll, asking you to identify the opera that best suits the month of December. Despite some of the traditional Christmas classical fare, La Bohème won the poll by a two-to-one margin.

So here’s a New Year‘s Eve/last day of December gift for all my readers. Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko singing, “O soave fanciulla” from, of course, Puccini‘s La Bohème.

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Filed under Classic Opera, Performers, Video