Mayhem at the Met–a New Tenor Arrives and 4,000 People Scream

If you always thought opera was a kind of orderly art form patronized only by the well bred, you haven’t been there recently. I’m not speaking of the oranges thrown by patrons angered by a certain soprano’s failings at La Scala, but rather the Yankee stadium-style yells that broke out at the end of Javier Camarena’s big aria in Rossini’s La Cenerentola Monday night.

Warned by an article in the NY Times (these things make news in New York), that on Camarena’s second performance, Peter Gelb had relaxed the Met’s stringent rules and permitted him to repeat his aria IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PERFORMANCE–almost unheard of at the well conducted Met, we were ready for him. And so was everybody else. Not deterred by or interested in the paparazzi waiting to see Rob Reiner accept the Charlie Chaplin Award at Avery Fisher,

met mayhem reinercrowds of would-be ticket buyers or standees lined up anywhere they could,

met mayhem 2some surreptitiously (strictly forbidden) holding up those little pieces of paper indicating they would pay–usually anything–to get a ticket.

met mayhe 4We, however, strolled in expecting a treat–that is, if Camarena could again reproduce those high C’s and D’s for us. On a stage full of great singers and conducted by a Rossini master, Fabio Luisi, whose Met Orchestra played with diamond-cut brilliance, he came through with confidence and ease.

I will not soon forget the sound of those 4,000 throats screaming with joy–the arrival of a great tenor is something to scream about–and New Yorkers know their opera. Camarena

met mayhem camarena(Source: filled in for the ailing Juan Diego Flores, who will have a hard time matching up to his substitute.

The stupendous Joyce DiDonato,

joyce-didonato-metropolitan-opera(Source: who played Cenerentola, received her huge ovation at the end, as the knowledgeable audience realized quite well that her performance equalled his. But after all, there are fewer great tenors than great sopranos, and it was a gala night full of wonderful music.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s