This was a big year for me personally: I finished grad school and started my first real academic job. But this took a toll on my operagoing, and this list is a bit thin this year. Without further ado, here is what stuck with me.
La forza del destino (Bayerische Staatsoper): Perhaps it is disappointing that my No. 1 for the year happened on January 6, but opera doesn’t work on a film schedule. Despite some sizable drawbacks–lackluster conducting and a production which was only occasionally brilliant–it still seemed to be operating on a drastically higher level than virtually everything else I saw this year.
Verdi Requiem (Orchestra and Chorus of Santa Cecilia): I didn’t write about this one here, but it was on May 18 at the Royal Festival Hall in London, conducted by Antonio Pappano. A great performance with excellent solo contributions by Hibla Gerzmava and Joseph Calleja.
The Death of Klinghoffer (Met): The most electric, urgent performance I’ve ever seen at the Met.
Best Individual Performances
Anja Harteros, La forza del destino (Bayerische Staatsoper)
Anna Netrebko, Macbeth (Met)
Michael Volle, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Met)
Achievement in Worthwhile Production of Relatively Obscure Opera
George Enescu’s Oedipe (Oper Frankfurt)
Achievement in Crazy
Simone Kermes, Platée (Les Arts Florissants). I’m never sure if we’re laughing with her or laughing at her. That’s a post I wish I had written.
Elektra (Aix-en-Provence Festival)
Rusalka (La Monnaie) (my review of this production from Dresden)
Will there be more in 2015? We shall see! I will be at the Met next week for Die lustige Witwe.
Photo: I have no idea where I got this GIF but it’s always a big, um, hit.