The Metropolitan Opera in New York bids farewell to its general manager, Joseph Volpe, this Saturday (May 20, 5:30 pm) in a gala concert. Of course, James Levine's medical problems prevent him from conducting, but Valery Gergiev, Marco Armiliato, James Conlon, and Patrick Summers will share the podium in his place. Here is the list of performers:
From the Met:I do not believe I am exaggerating when I say that this is going to be a once-in-a-quarter-century sort of convergence of the operatic world. If you have any interest in opera and fine singing, you are obligated to make every attempt to hear this gala concert. I am doing my best to help you, people.
The Gala Concert, which brings the 2005-2006 opera season to a close, will include performances by nearly thirty vocal artists: sopranos Natalie Dessay, Renée Fleming, Mirella Freni, Karita Mattila, Ruth Ann Swenson, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Deborah Voigt; mezzo-sopranos Stephanie Blythe, Olga Borodina, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Waltraud Meier, and Dolora Zajick; tenors Plácido Domingo, Juan Diego Flórez, Ben Heppner, Salvatore Licitra, Luciano Pavarotti, and Ramón Vargas; baritones Dwayne Croft, Thomas Hampson, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky; bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov; and basses James Morris, René Pape, and Samuel Ramey.
Additional scoop from Sieglinde's Diaries:
Renee Fleming reconfiguring "Tacea la notte placida ... Di tale amor"; Natalie Dessay showcasing "Glitter and be Gay"; Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazon going AWOL (hmmm ...); Dolora Zajick, AWOL of late, gracing the glitterati with "O mon Fernand"; Deborah Voigt reprising "Pace, pace"; Placido Domingo clearing his throat for some zarzuela (zay what?); Luciano Pavarotti clearing his throat.
I believe that the original plan was to air this gala concert live on PBS, but that fell through, not to my surprise. It will be broadcast live on some NPR stations (in the New York area certainly, but beyond that, who knows): May 20, 5:30 pm. It is impossible for me to learn if any public radio station in the Washington area is going to carry the broadcast. If anyone knows, that's what the comments are for. PBS is planning to broadcast at least some edited part of the concert: Thursday, June 1, 9 pm. Knowing PBS (and hating them) as I do, it will probably last for an hour and have ads for some cheesy Sarah Brightman special every 10 minutes.
In the only positive side of the betrayal of the radio station that must not be named, I have been listening a lot more to WBJC in Baltimore. You should know that on Mondays through Thursdays, from 11 pm to 1 am, they have broadcasts of symphony concerts: the New York Philharmonic (Lorin Maazel, conductor) on Mondays, the Detroit Symphony (Neeme Järvi) on Tuesdays, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Mariss Jansons) on Wednesdays, and the Milwaukee Symphony (Andreas Delfs) on Thursdays. This evening, while driving back from hearing Maurizio Pollini at Strathmore (reviews forthcoming), I heard Lang Lang playing the Prokofiev third piano concert at the Royal Concertgebouw. This is what I would like my tax dollars to pay for, not news. Thank you, that is all.
The reason that I could not find any information about what station in the Washington area might be carrying the Gala broadcast is because NONE OF THEM DID CARRY IT. Anyway, if we go by La Cieca's liveblogging post, we didn't miss much. The television broadcast will have the best hour or so.