Friday, January 1, 2010

T'was the Night Before New Year's

And once again, with great apologies to Clement Clarke Moore!)

T’was the night before New Year’s and all through the Met
Garanca was smoking (I mean sans cigarette!)
The boo-birds were readying for opening night,
All dripping with malice – all spry for a fight.
While just hours before, there had been a debut
Dave Pomeroy sang Hoffmann (and pretty well, too!)
Some pronounced the voice “small” . . . others, “vin ordinaire”
Others yawned “he’s not Gedda, why the hell should I care?”

“I miss the old days” seemed the theme of the season
“We had real stars back then,” was the most proffered reason.
“We’d Tebaldi and Milanov and Schipa and Jussi
We had bassos like Pinza, so just keep your Pertusi!”
Others fought back, “they’re dead now, a new day has dawned!”
But the old guard dismissed them and collectively yawned,
“Oh yes, now there’s Handel and di capos galore”
So much quicker than Ambien, do you mind if I snore?”

So, this year we had Tosca, all stripped down and edgy,
Some praised it as “boffo” some yelled “goddamned reggie!”
They clamored for Franco, they demanded “tradition!”
They made it quite clear, “the old way’s our mission.”

Then the Janacek came and the ticket sales ceased
“Why the hell would they do such a depressing piece?
His music’s all spiky, all self-reverential
And with no tunes, why it’s all so damned inconsequential!”
“There’s no plot” - “There’s no story”- “there’s no love scenes” they cried
(And without intermission their bladders were fried!)

So they waited for Hoffmann, they waited so long,
While others complained “the acts’ orders all wrong!”
They wanted the trio, Antonia and such
They wanted it badly, they wanted it much
Then came coughs, cold and fevers as replacements came
(Though Held and Netrebko held fast to their game)
And while Bartlett’s production got mix-ed reviews
The show’s been a hit (so what else is news?)

Still they turned on the Gelb – a great list of complaints
(Turning men like Joe Volpe and Bing into saints)
“Why he’s ruining the Met and he’s killing tradition,
With his operas ‘bout Gandhi and . . . nuclear fission
We want things with nice tunes, we want sets that are pretty!
Not these dirges in darkness all dirty and gritty,
Bring back halcyon days of Nate Merrill and O’Hearn,
For this surely is what TRUE opera lovers yearn,

So, tonight we get Carmen, that hot Spanish wench,
Performed by a Latvian singing in French,
And we’ll see what distinction is brought by Brit, Eyre
(Who made Billy Crudup a hot dame with flair!)
But remember, what matters here most is the story
And of course, Bizet’s score – which is covered in glory . . .

So in honor of opera from Berg to Bellini
Let us bury all hatchets, let’s all raise a martini
(or a glass of champagne or of cider or beer)
And with opera all welcome a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everbody!

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