Review of the Metropolitan Opera’s home gala – exciting song, live from the salons of the stars | The music

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IIn many ways, it was quite extraordinary. Streaming on its website, the Metropolitan Opera House Gala, featured more than 40 of the house’s regular singers, most of whom performed live via Skype live from their living room and studies, or, in done, in the case of Diana Damrau and her husband. Nicolas Testé, from their cuisine. General manager Peter Gelb and musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin chaired the debates from their apartments in New York and Montreal respectively, while pre-recorded images allowed us to see and hear the Met orchestra and choir playing and sing on a split screen around Nézet-Séguin as he directed.

Technically, it was a little remarkable because we were sliding almost seamlessly between continents, countries and time zones. Pips were rare, although a broken link with Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis’ house meant that we had arrived earlier than expected in the house of bass Günther Groissböck, who calmly finished his beer before singing the scene. closing of Die Schweigsame Frau by Strauss. Car and Dupuis found a place later that evening for their duo performance at the Thai oasis in Massenet. Anna Netrebko and her husband Yusif Eyvazov, it was announced, were unable to sing live, so their contributions were prerecorded in what looked like a studio in Vienna.

The outfits ranged from everyday to glamorous, with Jonas Kaufmann singing Halévy in a sweater and jeans, and Sonya Yoncheva offering Song to the Moon by Rusalka by Dvořák in an evening dress. And you couldn’t help but be drawn to the details of the interiors on display: a sign saying “No autographs, please” on the side of Anita Rachvelishvili’s piano, a beautiful painting on the wall Michael Fabiano’s living room, and Renée Fleming’s garden, glimpsed beyond its windows, linger particularly in the spirit.





Deeply touching… Joyce DiDonato (center) and the Met viola section, directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (top right), sing Haendel's Ombra Mai Fu in tribute to Vincent Lionti, who died of Covid-19 .

Deeply touching… Joyce DiDonato (center) and the Met viola section, directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (top right), sing Haendel’s Ombra Mai Fu in tribute to Vincent Lionti, who died of Covid-19 . Photography: The Metropolitan Opera

There were wonderful songs, from Ave Maria de Fleming by Otello de Verdi to Netrebko’s passionate closing performance of Rachmaninov’s song on old Georgia melodies. Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak camped out something rotten in a scene from L’Elisir d´Amore. And there was a deeply touching performance by Ombra Mai Fu, from Handel’s Serse, given by Joyce DiDonato and the viola section of the orchestra in tribute to Vincent Lionti, a Met violist who tragically lost his life at Covid-19. The highlight, however, for me, came from Lisette Oropesa, singing a tune from Robert le Diable de Meyerbeer from her house in Baton Rouge: amazing song, its exciting color beyond belief.

The Home Gala is available on request at metopera.org until 6:30 p.m. EST (1:30 a.m.BST) on Sunday, April 26.

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