December 29, 2013

The List: What's In & Out for 2014

I am shameless and without conscience in my efforts to amass page-views for this blog. Here's a ruse I've used before with good results:

Give your post the kind of title that would cause readers to mistake it for a popular feature in a major newspaper.
Prince Igor at the Met. No, not the
2014 production, Sherlock. Duh.

For example, take the Washington Post's annual summary of pop culture trends known as "The List". With no regard for fair play, I kind of stole that title for my first New Year's post in 2011 and it got so many hits it still ranks in my all-time top five.

True, a large number of people falling for this may have logged off my blog mere seconds after bringing it up, recognizing instantly that they'd been hoodwinked. But you know what? A page-view is a page-view, pals. It's like in baseball: an infield hit looks the same as a line drive in the box score.

So let's go to the well one more time, shall we? And if you were looking for the Post's column, just go to their website. Sorry for any inconvenience...

OUT: Deborah Voigt as Isolde
IN: Nina Stemme as Isolde

OUT: Laura Friesen as Principal Coach at Virginia Opera
IN: Shelby Rhoades as Principal Coach at Virginia Opera

OUT: Casting a mezzo as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus
IN: Casting a counter-tenor as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus

OUT: The Lepage Ring cycle as the big epic production in New York
IN: Prince Igor as the big epic production in New York

OUT: The New York City Opera
IN: Despair, blame and Monday-morning quarterbacking.

OUT: Rampant rumors that James Levine will never conduct again.
IN: James Levine leading Falstaff, Cosi fan tutte  and more from his wheelchair.

OUT: Eugene Onegin at the Met with a largely bare stage covered in leaves
IN:  Eugene Onegin at the Met in a production with sets and the whole shebang.

OUT: Elvira in Ernani as the calling-card of Angela Meade
IN: Norma as the calling-card of Angela Meade.

OUT: Tales From the Brothers Grimm as Glenn Winters' most recent children's opera
IN: The Empress and the Nightingale as Glenn Winters' newest children's opera (work-in-progress)

OUT:  Risë Stevens as a living link to mid-twentieth century opera
IN: Licia Albenese as a living link to mid-twentieth century opera.

Are there some passages I've neglected here? Feel free to add them via the comments section below. And here's to a 2014 filled with thrilling, ravishing, intoxicating, stimulating productions of the world's greatest art form! 

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