Levine Loves Mozart.
James Levine loves the music of Mozart. As a result, we, the public, are able to be thrilled when we get to watch a performance led by this amazing conductor.
Last night on television (KQED.org) I watched James Levine, as he conducted his 75th performance of “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart, with an astounding cast and orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera House. He’s conducted this same opera at many other stages throughout the world!
Some of you might read the word “Opera” and visualize “Fat Lady Sings”. See if you are able to go beyond that interfering image and hear me out:
The media has bombarded me with violence, tragedy, sadness, suffering, shootings, and death. Last night, for a couple of hours I found relief. And this relief came via a story set to music about what life was like during the 1700’s in a society of Counts and Countesses, as well as their servants.
The characters in the story are just as human as we are, today. Their life was filled with passion, desire, sexuality, and a diverse set of morals. What emerged at the hands of Mozart was a description of the world 300 years ago, set to music that is nothing short of sublime.
The performance was filled with many singers who were new to me, and I was delighted by their capabilities. People like Peter Mattei, as the Count, Amanda Majeski as the Countess, Isabelle Leonard as the page, Cherubino, and Marlis Peterson as Susanna.
In Mozart’s unique style, the emotions ranged from humorous, to tragic, to infuriating, and to great disappointment and sadness. And it was all bound together by wonderful creative energy and great fun.
James Levine was still smiling when he was interviewed at the end. It was sad for me to see him seated in a motorized cart. But I am grateful that he’s back conducting after a long recuperation process. Mr. Levine is now 71 years old.
Bravo, Maestro, for an outstanding performance!
Here is a brief collection of scenes from Mozart’s elegant masterpiece of marital discord, “Le Nozze di Figaro”, conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and staged by Richard Eyre. Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role, Marlis Petersen plays Figaro’s quick-witted bride-to-be, Susanna, and Peter Mattei is Count Almaviva.
Tags: Marriage of Figaro, Metropolitan Opera, James Levine, Ildar Abdrazakovm, Marlis Petersen, Peter Mattei