‘La Traviata’ Opens a New Era at the Metropolitan Opera


The Met, the largest performing arts group in the nation, has struggled with unsteady musical management for greater than a decade. Years of well being issues saved Mr. Nézet-Séguin’s predecessor, James Levine, away for lengthy stretches, and in the end compelled him to step down as music director. Then accusations of sexual misconduct, which Mr. Levine has denied, led the Met to sever all ties with him earlier this 12 months. The new music director has massive sneakers to fill, and a massive wound to heal.

Mr. Nézet-Séguin, who had initially been set to imagine the submit in 2020, moved up his begin date to take a stronger musical hand at the opera home after the allegations towards Mr. Levine got here to mild. And though it is going to be a few seasons earlier than he takes on his full workload at the Met and implements a few of his plans for commissions and collaborations, he’s already making his presence felt. At his first “Traviata” rehearsal with the orchestra, he paused usually to fine-tune passages, although the firm has carried out the piece greater than a thousand occasions.

He has been serving to the singers hone their roles — particularly the star tenor Juan Diego Flórez, a bel canto specialist recognized for his excessive C’s, who’s singing the considerably decrease and fewer elaborately ornamented position of Alfredo for the first time. Mr. Flórez, whose Alfredo guarantees nonetheless to be very a lot in the bel canto custom, praised Mr. Nézet-Séguin’s understanding of voices. “He wants to bring back the attention to detail that this part has,” he stated in an interview.

When Mr. Nézet-Séguin urged Mr. Flórez to sing the ingesting track in the first act softly, as the rating signifies — to underscore that Alfredo remains to be insecure and sexually inexperienced — he drove the level residence in a characteristically good-humored method.

“Like a vir-ir-ir-ir-gin,” the Met’s new music director sang, channeling Madonna.

During rehearsals Mr. Nézet-Séguin labored carefully with the inventive crew to align the staging with the music, tweaking the blocking in a single duet to assist the singers and ensuring the motivations of the characters had been rooted in the rating.

“He’s a real dramaturg, musically,” Mr. Mayer stated shortly earlier than the begin of the first stage rehearsal. “He’s very invested in, and interested in, the narrative information that is conveyed through music that is unrelated to the libretto.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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