Sunday, January 01, 2006

Love the culture you're with...

While in Midland, I was fortunate to tune into the BBC3 Radio broadcast of An American Tragedy. What a way to spend an afternoon! It sounded even richer over the internet. I'm not sure where the microphones are on the stage, but you can hear the singers walking on stage although it is not obtrusive. I was struck by the sheer effortless in their sound - utter perfection. One conundrum that I've been trying to solve is why don't operas run longer like Broadway shows? Is it because of the expense of the production or perhaps its just too taxing on the singers? I know that An American Tragedy will be back at the Met in a couple of years, but it won't be the same magical cast. Susie has already admitted that she has scheduling conflicts - perhaps Jennifer Larmore will move into the role of Sondra? BBC3 has archived it for a while so I was able to capture it for posterity when I returned home. Now I can revisit this new favorite of mine with the desire strikes.

Also while in Midland, I was treated to the broadcast of the St. Petersburg Anniversary Gala on my sister's HD tv. I missed the first act so I didn't see Renee's performance of the Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin. (Renee says that she'll be doing Eugene Onegin at the Met next year with Dmitri Hvorostovsky. It will be a thrill to see them together.) It is a star-studded gala though and every performance is gorgeous (even the boring ballet bits). I was tickled at the end when the entire cast was taking bows and Renee was holding hands with Anna Netrebko given Sieglinde's recent musings.

So, now on to 2006! There is much to look forward to on the entertainment calendar. My Mom arrives this Wenesday, Noah on Thursday and Mandy on Saturday. On Friday night Mom and I will get taken at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It is the Friday night before John Lithgow's last show so hopefully the entire cast will be on and in fine form. On Saturday night, we'll join Noah and Mandy at Chita Rivera - A Dancer's Life! After the stage door visit with Chita, we'll debrief at Angus' and will partake in Broadway star sitings. I cannot wait to see Chita do her thing! On Sunday, Mom and I are taking the Met backstage tour and then we're seeing La Diva Renee with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. There will be a summit after the backstage visit with Renee with various BVGers. This will be Mom's first time to go backstage and meet La Diva and she's quite excited. (Isn't it fun when we impose our obsessions on our mama? She took part in my stagedoor frenzy in Houston with Bernadette). On Friday the 13th (ooooh spooky), we'll be attending the tale of Sweeney Todd - front row seats! Mom returns to Texas on the 17th. On the 20th, Noah and I will be on the 2nd row at the Met debut of Barbara Cook! (Any bets on who Barbara's special guests will be?) On the 29th, I'm seeing Anja Silja at Carnegie Hall. On February 11th, Bernadette is in Atlantic City and I'm hoping to join the Fanadette pilgrimage but I don't have this one locked in yet. Otherwise, February is a blank slate - just waiting to be filled with some exciting event. The first week of March is a busy one - Romeo et Juliet at the Met and then I'm going to Chicago to see Susie in Der Rosenkavalier with TBVer Kristin and then we'll go see La Diva Renee in recital at Dominican University. It will be my first visit to Chicago, so I'll work in some site-seeing. Later in March, my NY Philharmonic subscription continues on the 22nd - pianist Gabriela Montero is performing piano with the Phil. April will be exciting with a visit from Mim and Iris of the British contingency of the TBV and two trips to see Renee in Manon! Kari and Kristin will be in from Chicago (and others from all over the US I'm sure) will be in for Manon as well and a fine time is sure to be had by all. We seem to have no problem finding things to talk about. On April 29th, Noah and I will see Audra McDonald at Carnegie Hall. On May 1st, Bernadette will be at Avery Fisher Hall and Fanadettes from all over the US will be in heaven! We are planning a gala event in connection with this concert. On May 3rd, I'm seeing my first Wagner at the Met - Lohengrin. On May 10th, I'm treated to another dose of La Diva Renee in the beautiful production of Rodelinda at the Met. On May 14th, my Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall subscription concludes. On August 12th, Noah, Vicki, Karen 1, Karen 2 and hopefully Jean will be joining a couple of TBVers in Chicago for Miss Patti's turn as Rose at Ravinia! No doubt I will be thoroughly and gleefully entertained this year!

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