From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

by Megan Meister

The facade of New York's Metropolitan Opera House in the rain

 New York City Auditions Day 3

Wednesday night’s performance of Handel’s RODELINDA at the Metropolitan Opera was sumptuous—considering that there are only six soloists and no chorus, per capita it must be the most expensive production that this company ever mounted!

Imaginatively staged by Stephen Wadsworth and beautifully conducted by Harry Bicket, the opera starred Renee Fleming, Andreas Scholl, Joseph Kaiser and Stephanie Blythe.

The audience favorite that evening though seemed to be young American counter tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, making his Met debut.  I first heard him a few years ago when he was just getting started and was in the young artist program at Glimmerglass.  It is such a pleasure to see how far he has come in such a short time.

It was also great to hear Joe Kaiser again.  He will finally be making his Dallas Opera debut next season (sorry, but you’ll have to wait until January to find out in what.). Until now, Joe holds the record for the artist I have tried most often to engage without success.  I have lost the exact count, but I can recall at least six roles I have offered him over that many seasons, but he was always booked somewhere else!

Yesterday was another long day of auditions, but there were three singers who really stood out and made it all worthwhile.

My reward for sitting through eight hours of mostly disappointing auditions was to see the revival last night of Stephen Sondheim’s FOLLIES, which was stunning.  There were a few opera people in the cast, including the amazing Rosalind Elias, who after 50 plus years on the operatic stages of the world (including appearances with the Dallas Opera in VANESSA and HANSEL UND GRETEL) is making her Broadway debut at the age of 83!

Today is another long day of auditions, and then back to Dallas tomorrow.

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