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Revitalizing opera, redux

Once upon a time, a general manager took over the Metropolitan Opera determined to bring in more theater directors and raise the dramatic standards of opera. He got attention right away with a television broadcast of the opening-night performance of his first season. The New York Times reported:

"One of the cardinal points of [the Met's] new artistic policy will be to bring freshness and imagination to the visual side of opera... One of [the new GM's] major objectives is to revitalize the staging at the Metropolitan so that it may be brought abreast of the Broadway theater at its best... He has enlisted the help of some of Broadway's leading practitioners to enliven the new opera season... What has caused the adoption of this new policy at the Metropolitan? Evidently something has been wrong, and it did not require a new management to make this clear. It has been obvious for some years that the Metropolitan has been lagging in the double function that opera imposes on it."

And the date on that article is... November 5, 1950. It came across the transom while I was researching today's obituary of Cesare Siepi.

Plus ├ža change...

By Anne Midgette  |  July 7, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  opera , random musings  
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The National Convention of the American Guild of Organists is being held in DC this week with over 3,000 in attendance. Why are there no music reviews?
Also, Tim Smith, of the Baltimore Sun gets much more coverage and writes reviews the calibre of Tim Page which we haven't seen for a long time. The Washington Post's music coverage is a joke. Michael Heintz, Alexandria

Posted by: MichaelHeintz | July 7, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

One should also mention Siepi's roles from the German repertoire: Don Fernando in Fidelio at the Met, and Gurnemanz again at the Met and also in Vienna.

BTW, contrary to what Wikipedia says, the last role that Siepi sang at the Viena State Opera was not Oroveso in "Norma" in 1994, but the Cardinal Brogni in concert performances of "La Juive" in 1981. At least according to "Chronik der Wiener Staatsoper."

According to the same source, Siepi never sang Oroveso at the Staatsoper.

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | July 8, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I typed "Fernando" twice; sorry for that...

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | July 8, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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