So, as last year, my anarchically-ordered list of Things I Am Most Excited About. So far this season my predicted and actual high points have been fairly close together (although I left Pelleas out of the prediction altogether. Oops.) Let's see how I do this time.
Gounod's Faust. No, I've not been thrilled by the look or the reviews of the production. However, the season's first run will be conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and will feature Jonas Kaufmann, Angela Gheorghiu, and Rene Pape. In my experience, Gheorghiu can be a very exciting performer if she decides to put in the effort. She's not my ideal Marguerite, but it could be an interesting night. [Update 3/7: Well... in a blaze of mass cancellations, Gheorghiu's out and Poplavskaya's in for the first run. I'm failing in attempts to imagine the Jewel Song, but it will almost certainly be an interesting night.] About the men I am deliriously excited. Deliriously, I tell you. Production video here; McAnuff isn't the best expositor of his own ideas, but there's some interesting stuff. Oh, and the second run will feature Joseph Calleja, Roberto Alagna, Marina Poplavskaya, and Ferruccio Furlanetto. Did the Met make a pact?? (Sorry; couldn't help myself.)
Britten, Billy Budd. My first live Britten opera!! I don't know enough about it for much better-informed enthusiasm, but, three cheers for expanding horizons.
Janáček, Vec Makropulos. This will be conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek and feature Karita Mattila in the title role. Well done, Met; count me in.
Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina will have Kirill Petrenko conducting a fantastic cast. Again, nicely done.
The Enchanted Island. Baroque music, Shakespearean-style comedy, William Christie conducting, and a whole bunch of my favorite singers in silly costumes? How can I resist? I think this will be my excuse for my first New Year's Eve in the city. Possibly with champagne before, during, and after.
Papa Verdi gets not only Aida and Traviata (to which I will probably go for Stephanie Blythe's Amneris and Natalie Dessay's Violetta, respectively,) but also Ernani, Nabucco, and Macbeth, to which I will go because I have great love for Verdi and am so happy that the Met is showing some Verdi-love. Also, up-and-comer Angela Meade will be in Ernani (go here for bel canto buff Taminophile's review of her Norma) and Honorary Operatic Uncle (and baritone extraordinaire) Thomas Hampson will have the title role in Macbeth.
Patricia Racette will sing the title roles of Tosca and Madama Butterfly. I will bawl my eyes out.
Jonas Kaufmann will be giving a recital. My mother has already agreed to come. I shall be composing my Lieder wish list.
I seem to have about half the season on here, one way and another. Even factoring in my happily eclectic tastes, I think that's a good sign. I am most emphatically not excited about the fact that the curtain time for Mon-Thurs performances has been moved up to 7:30. The Rush Ticket release has been adjusted back commensurately, but that doesn't make it easier for me to get my work done and get down from the Bronx. Starting at 8:00 may mean you finish past the octogenarians' bedtimes, but what about the Nachwuchs audiences who are trying to rush from jobs and/or the outer boroughs? The question of optimal curtain time was on the survey I took for the Met a few months back, so there's reason to suppose the move represents some sort of public consensus. I'm still far from happy about it, but there's nothing to be done but see how it works out (and hope I'm not given afternoon classes to teach.)