Robert Croan, former classical music critic for us and now a senior editor -- meaning roving critic -- went to the Metropolitan Opera's opening gala for cheap -- he saw it at Pittsburgh Mills in the live HD broadcast.
Here is his review:
By Robert Croan
Opera, once the plaything of an elite few, is quickly becoming entertainment for the masses. Thanks in large part to general manager Peter Gelb, opening night of the Metropolitan Opera's 125th season Monday [9/22] was attended not merely by the wealthy who could afford tickets to the live performance in the house, but by a huge number who watched in outdoor venues at New York's Times Square and Fordham University Plaza, and high-definition telecasts in American and foreign movie theaters. It's notable that the Times Square viewers interviewed by emcee Deborah Voigt were young, and enthused over the prospect of attending live opera in the future. The Pittsburgh venues are Cinemark at Pittsburgh Mills and Showcase Cinemas West in Robinson.
The production was a gala for soprano Renee Fleming (above with Ramon Vargas, Reuters), featured in three of her signature operas: Act 2 of Verdi's "La Traviata," Act 3 of Massenet's "Manon" and the final scene from Strauss' "Capriccio." Movie star gorgeous in costumes by top designers and no less glamorous in voice, Fleming proved herself a true singing actress, melting the heart with the legato lines of Violetta's "Dite alla giovane," dazzling with the coloratura of Manon's gavotte, turning to Garbo-like introspection in the changing moods of "Capriccio's" Countess, who can not decide between a poet and a musician as her lover.
The next of 10 upcoming HD telecasts from the Met (live, then encored 11 days later) will be Strauss' "Salome," Oct. 11 [Sat.] at 1:30 p.m.