My husband and I are opera devotees and every season we see at least four operas at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, located at West 65th St. and Broadway, in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The Lincoln Center complex, which had its 50th anniversary last year, has embarked upon a major transformation initiative which is now 90% complete, to fully modernize its concert halls and public spaces on its 16-acre urban campus. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on once, and then clicked on again when they open on a new page.)
A view of the new steps leading up to the Josie Robertson Plaza in front of Lincoln Center. Unfortunately, I only had my small pocket camera with me this evening so the quality of my photos were not as sharp as usual. The lights in the steps announced all the ongoing events happening at all the venues in Lincoln Center, and they kept changing patterns very decoratively.
I've shown the new modern black granite Revson Fountain in the center of the plaza many times before on my blog, and if you look under my blog's opera label, especially this post, you can see how the water can be made to dance beautifully in many various heights and formations.
The evening we attended La Fanciulla del West, in early January, the fountain was operating very low, but I took a video of it non-the-less.
The Metropolitan Opera House Christmas tree was still standing in the upper balcony window on the night we were there.
I always enjoy looking at the costumes on display in glass cases on the orchestra level, and this time there were two costumes designed by Cecil Beaton for the 1966 performances of Verdi's opera La Traviata. This year's season Metropolitan Opera's opening premier gala was La Traviata -- a brand new production directed by Willy Decker, with set design by Wolfgang Gussmann. You can watch some short videos of the new production on this link. Truthfully, I am not a fan of this new ultra modern looking production, and will forever love the lavish Franco Zeffirelli productions I've seen in the past out of sentimentality.
This evening we attended Giacomo Puccini's La Fanciulla del West - The Golden Girl of the West. - This season's performances marked the 100th anniversary of the opera’s world premier at the Met.
Although Puccini declared La Fanciulla del West his greatest opera at its premier, it never gained the popularity of his now better know operas of La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, or Tuandot, all of which are also personal favorites of mine. I was happy to have seen Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, as now I have seen performances all of his masterly operatic repertoire!
La Faniciulla del West is a three act opera set in a California mining camp during the 1849-50 gold rush. The Metropolitan production we saw starred soprano Deborah Voigt. Voigt is more renowned for her Wagner and Strauss roles, than Italian roles, but gave a riveting and moving portrayal of Minnie, the owner of the Polka Saloon. Marcello Giordani, tenor, portrayed her love interest Dick Johnson (who was also the disguised bandit Ramerrez). Baritone Lucio Gallo was the jealous sheriff, Jack Rance, who also loved the character Minnie. Nicola Luisotti was the conductor and the set designer was Giancarlo Monaco.
There is an excellent review, including photos and videos of the Met production on the Opera Today website.
The opera cast's final bows onstage
I found the opera enjoyable, but it was rather long as there were two intermissions of thirty six minutes long to allow for a change in the elaborate set. The highlights in the production for me was in the third and final act when Giordani sang "Ch'ella mi creda e lontano (Let her think I am free and far away)" and the final moments with the lovers walking off to the sunset, singing "Addio, mia California!"
I had to smile as it reminded me of the ending of many TV westerns when Dale Evans and Roy Rogers would walk off into the sunset singing "Happy Trails." Puccini was certainly ahead of his time!
PS: We are expecting a foot of snow tonight and it is falling heavily as I type this. I've heard the plow come down my street two times already so I think NYC may function better in this storm than the last. For all those sharing the same storm stay safe and warm! Think Spring!
Linking this post to:
"Outdoor Wednesday" on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer
"Rednesday" on Sue's blog It's a Very Cherry World