Saturday, April 25, 2009

Try MetPlayer For Free May 1-3, 2009!

MetPlayer, the online archive performance subscription service of the Metropolitan Opera, is being made free to use for the weekend of May 1st through the 3rd. I shall not miss the Met's January 1, 2005, performance of Handel's Rodelinda starring Renee Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, David Daniels, Kobie van Rensburg, and John Relyea. Though I heard it in 2004 as one of the Met's broadcasts during that sector of the season, this was the first opera I ever heard, and, though I would not know it for some years to come, Renee Fleming was the first opera singer I ever heard sing in a performance, which I am sure must have been providential to me, for I could have heard someone who made me dread the art form that I so genuinely adore.

Using a search engine to search, I found two gems among their library of Renee Fleming results; one of these is part of a concert she gave in Washington, D.C., with Susan Graham entitled "The Art of French Song," and the other is a recital of Strauss and Wagner selections. I have not been yet afforded the adequate time to listen to either of these grand pieces to comment on the audio quality or the duration of the music itself, but I am looking forward to doing so soon. If one uses the search engine I have linked for you and searches for Ms. Fleming, they will find her 2003 performance of Bellini's Il Pirata from the Met. This performance is also available to hear on MetPlayer during their free weekend promotion, so you may want to hear it there, but be forewarned that you can download it through RapidShare.

I cannot wait to see Renee Fleming in Rossini's Armida when it is showcased Live in HD next season; however, I pray that Mary Zimmerman does better with it than she did this season with La Sonnambula. Renee's performance in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier also is one not to be missed next season. I hope that all of her productions are given broadcast dates. I think it would be good of the Met to offer her a revival of Rusalka sometime in the near future as well. I liked it more than I expected earlier in the broadcast season, and I wish we may hear it again shortly.

Thank you all for reading.


chelsea said...

Did you take advantage of the Met player? I got in Thais, some of Nozze from 98, Aida w/ Price, The Queen of Spades, my favorite scenes from the Vickers/Scotto Otello, some of the Pav/Scotto Boheme and I'll probably select one more. I'm thinking something w/ Mattila or Luisa Miller...

The Art of the French song w/ RF/SG is great! You'll love it. I think I read somewhere that Fleming will probably not sing the role of Rusalka again. It's a shame the Met didn't capture it b/c the Schenk production is a gem.

Tyler said...


Yes, as my most recent post proclaims, I did get to hear Renee, and all of those other star singers, sing Rodelinda. As I said there, I am thinking about paying for a month's subscription to experience some of those legendary performances about which I have only read and subsequentially longed to hear.

I finally listened to "The Art of French Song" not very long since, and I did indeed ardently enjoy every minute of it. My favorite piece, though, had to be the encore of the duet from "Lakme." Renee and Susan both said that they would like to do more concerts together at the end of the program, and I hope they are afforded the opportunities to do them because they are so vibrant and charismatic together. They give such energy to a performance when they are in one together, which makes me long for the upcoming Met season all the more in which they sing "Der Rosenkavalier"

Finally, as for Rusalka, I, too, wish the Met had put it in their "Live in HD" lineup for this season. I was also disapponted that the Met's marketing photos for the run did not express the grandeur of the production. Later, when I saw some photos taken by SarahB and others who had seen the performances, I did not recognize the costumes from the production; that was when I realized what an extremely visually beautiful production we had missed. I still hold out hope that Renee sings this production again!