Met musicians put on Gheorghiu recital to rival Gelb’s Netrebko

Met musicians put on Gheorghiu recital to rival Gelb’s Netrebko


norman lebrecht

February 05, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming an Anna Netrebko recital this weekend from Vienna’s Spanish Riding School.

In two weeks’ time, the Met’s unpaid musicians will run a rival attraction with Angela Georghiu from Bucharest.

This looks like aria war, or something like it. Gheorghiu makes a strong statement in support of the orchestra musicians.

Details below.

On February 21, 2021 at 3pm EST, the MET Orchestra Musicians will present soprano Angela Gheorghiu in concert from Bucharest’s stunning Romanian Athenaeum Concert Hall. This opera star, since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1993, is one of the most beloved sopranos on the planet and was slated to return to the Met in the 2020/21 season. Ms. Gheorghiu will also appear in a live chat session at the conclusion of the event. The MET Orchestra Musicians will collaborate from #NewYorkCity through the wonder of #technology.
Ms. Gheorghiu will sing one of opera’s most beloved arias, Dvořák’s Song to the Moon (Rusalka) in a special arrangement for soprano and bass quintet. Additionally, she will perform the stirring Our Father by Anton Pann – a tribute to the nine musicians from the MET Orchestra who have quietly retired during the pandemic.

Angela Gheorghiu states: “My fellow colleagues and I speak about how happy we are for being part of the “Metropolitan Opera family” – for me, since my Met debut in 1993, these are not just empty words, and I want to show my love, my respect and my real support for all of them through facts, through offering my voice for this cause, in a special appearance during their next virtual concert and joined by MET musicians.
A great opera performance does not mean only great singers, but also a great orchestra, a great chorus and many more great people working for the whole production, every day. Without our colleagues, musicians from the orchestra and chorus, we cannot be real Opera Stars, only by ourselves. Without all of these artists and company members, opera would not exist, it would be impossible… And this is why I invite everybody to help the Met family… my family… our family!”
Tickets for this concert are $15 USD and are available for purchase at



  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    OK wait…

    The musicians want to show how great the orchestra is and then do an arrangement of Hymn to the Moon for soprano and five string basses? Did I get that right?

    Not sure who is coordinating the Battle on the musicians side but someone did not think this through correctly.

    • Bill says:

      They would have asked you to do the coordination, but you were too busy posting on comments forums.

    • Monsoon says:

      What I find more perplexing is that they’re doing the concert in Bucharest.

      If the musicians want to make the point that Gelb lacks imagination to keep the orchestra playing in some form, it would be more effective to stage mini concerts on domestic soil, even if they’re limited to playing outside in warmer weather states.

      (I’m curious if any of the NYC ensembles have looked into performing at the Park Ave Armory where it’s pretty easy for the musicians and audience to socially distance.)

      • Ian says:

        Good point Monsoon

        Why don’t they choose more diverse locations Africa, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela?

      • Lara says:

        They are not doing it in Bucharest, but in Bucharest and New York: they will perform virtually together, each of them from the places they are present at the moment, she’s in Bucharest and they are in NY… It’s all written in their press release!

      • John says:

        She is singing from Bucharest, the musicians are in NY. It clearly states with the #wondersoftechnology. Bravo to the musicians for doing something positive to keep their spirits up.

      • Save the MET says:

        You have board/donation issues with the Park Avenue Armory and the Met right now. Park Avenue would not likely rent it to the Met Orchestra I’m sorry to say, really unfortunate. Social politics.

      • Robert says:

        The MET orchestra is performing from NYC.

    • Gerard I. says:

      It’s not possible for anyone else to work considering Peter’s and the Board’s clear use of “white privilege” in the choices of locations, players and singers.

      • ShockedNoshocked says:

        Romania is barely surviving in the EU. This is basically a third world country, Romanians are not Anglo Saxons, btw. She is Romanian.

        • Noni says:

          If Romania is a third world country, you have a mind suffocated by stupidity and sterile superiority. But there is also a world for you, namely the world of self-idolizing entities…

    • NYCer says:

      No, you didn’t.

  • yujafan says:

    La Draculeti vs. Ms Trebs – a heavyweight bout to be sure. Am sure they will slug it out like true divas.

  • Peter Brown says:

    Bravi to them and brava to her!!!
    Sadly, the line up for the Met Star concerts (which includes some stars and some that will never ever be stars) is making profit only for the artists involved, nothing at all for the Met employees. And so far no “star” ever thought of donating his or her fee to the musicians that actually need the money.
    I’ll pay double anytime to listen to Gheorghiu for her two arias rather than hearing overrated Netrebko singing from the stables.

    • Againstbigotry says:

      Agreed about how these prominent artists could show a little generosity to their colleagues (be it freelancers or full time chorus or orchestra members), but, to be fair, Kaufmann announced he was donating $5000 to a local German musicians’ relief fund when he sang in July.

      • Jane says:

        You can say what you like, depending on the gig – I’ve yet to be in a pit where anyone on the stage cared the slightest bit for the plight of those in the band. But, thanks anyway Trebs.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      Wait… Is Anna singing from the stables or cleaning them out? Or both?

  • Emil says:

    The silence of many stars – no doubt not wanting to be blacklisted from the Met – is appalling.Great to hear Ms Gheorghiu is taking a stance in favour of the orchestra.
    I understand that he has a career and an employment to care for, but an unequivocal statement of support from Nézet-Séguin in favour of the orchestra – his “family”, as he calls them – would go a long way. This is not something where he can afford to stay on the sidelines. Not after a year. And, if it costs him his job, too bad. It’s not as if he wouldn’t get any other top-billing opera position, and Gelb won’t be forever.

  • JussiB says:

    Pretty soon we’ll have roadside attractions by the Met musicians along Route 66.

  • Jules says:

    Will definitely tune in. Hats off to Gheorghiu for supporting the Met musicians. Too bad she was completely ignored by The Met management for the past 5-6 years..Gelb has had a fixation with Netrebko for a very long time

    • Olga Zakharova says:

      However several other wonderful sopranos performed during all those years, just think about Sondra Radvanovsky, Sonya Yoncheva and other.

      • Nick Daniels says:

        If others performed, it does not mean that an exquisite singer like Gheorghiu should have been neglected. Also considering her many breathtaking performances on the Met stage for over two decades… she is dearly missed by her fans in NY!
        Radvanovsky, although not quite in the same league, was actually another soprano neglected by Gelb. There is place for anybody, not just for Netrebko and a few other names.
        You clearly don’t know what you are talking about and your comment makes no common sense.

  • jack says:

    I would like to know who is paying for this. Presumably, it is not the Met Orchestra musicians who are in dire financial straits from not having been paid.

    • John says:

      If you look at the press or the orchestra’s social media, you’ll see that all MET Orchestra Musician concerts are produced by the orchestra on a volunteer basis. All profits from the concerts go directly to the musicians in need- which, after nearly a year being unpaid, is nearly every musician in the house. Sadly, the snarky comments on here don’t put food in their or their children’s mouths. Bravo to Angela for having the courage to support all of the artists at the Met who are dearly suffering and many are leaving for good.

      • jack says:

        I think that you read snark where there was none (intended). As anyone who is familiar with these sorts of productions can tell you, the talent line item in the budget is never the bulk of the expense. Even if that item is zeroed out through in-kind donations, there is still considerable expense involved in putting on and disseminating one of these things. So, I would find it interesting to see the budget and who signed the check to cover it. (Could it be Yannick as a personal donation, could it be Gelb for the Met, could it be a board member as a contribution, could it be the Union from one of its funds, could it be an instituional loan or investment officer, could it be a private angel, does the Met orchestra, as an entity, have a retained pool of funds for this purpose? Again, I don’t think that it could (or should) come out of the bank accounts (if there are any left) of the orchestra members.)

        • John says:

          I believe I’ve read that everyone donates their time, Not just the musicians… including the high quality professionals who are donating their time, equipment, and talent.

  • Novagerio says:

    One can’t fool the orchestras, no matter the muscle of the markets!

  • degenerate opera lover says:

    both concerts are great! do the righteous think their little boycott is gonna work? too young too simple sometimes naive

  • Nijinsky says:

    What a shame!? We could have had Renee Fleming or someone pushing a Possum up against the black board to make her generic jazzy tone! I’m disappointed.

  • Nijinsky says:

    Because Renee sounds like a violin needing its neck reset, the Strings way too close to the sound post. I think Gheorghiu is great, the only one of her genre that sings well, actually. I’m not surprised at all that she’s the one doing what needs to be done, and I’m sure she’ll do it well!

  • Nijinsky says:

    Thank GOD I got the neck off. A violin that rivals the one a poor porn star named Benjamin Bradley used to have, that’s the Vieuxtemps. Just soft resonant, like Renee. No, I love her singing. I don’t understand this Covid stuff at all. You can get a virtual vaccine right here. Just listen to your thoughts when you’re thinking you can make time go faster by intimidating it. And music, and art and…. love….