The Met now says it will reopen with Verdi’s Requiem

The Met now says it will reopen with Verdi’s Requiem


norman lebrecht

August 20, 2021

Just up on the website:

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Met presents Verdi’s Requiem, with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the extraordinary Met Orchestra and Chorus as well as a quartet of star soloists: soprano Ailyn Pérez, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and bass-baritone Eric Owens. The concert marks the first performance inside the Metropolitan Opera House since the March 2020 closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just one problem: the orchestra have not yet agreed to play.



  • Alviano says:

    Given the state of the House’s finances, a requiem might be appropriate.

    • William T. Cohen says:

      Given the Blanchard “rehearsal” they just posted, Verdi’s requiem is a sign of their imminent demise…orchestra or not.

  • sonicsinfonia says:

    Correction: “the orchestra has not yet agreed to play” – there is only one of them, as far as I know.

  • caranome says:

    Maybe a capella then. The other day another orchestra played without chorus. Then one can do one without soloists. Music reimagined in age of covid!

  • Barry says:

    Skipping by any controversy and focusing on the music potential, I’ve seen a lot of Yannick in concert over the years (in Philadelphia), and the single best performance I’ve seen him lead was unquestionably the Verdi Requiem with which he opened his Philadelphia MD tenure. I had become somewhat jaded to the piece, but he snapped me out of that with one of the most gripping performances of anything I’ve ever seen in a concert hall. Hopefully he’ll recapture that in this performance, if it comes off.

    • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

      I was at that one too! I’m not the biggest YNS fan, but he’s an absolutely wonderful conductor of the great choral works.

  • Alan R. Kay says:

    What’s left of the extraordinary Met Orchestra, anyway.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Very strange that the PBS telecast will be introduced by a ballerina…not a singer. Just sayin’.

  • Alex says:

    What a PR trap for the orchestra.
    Solidarity to my friends at the MET orchestra.

  • sam says:

    Ugh, when you have no ideas left, you put on Verdi’s Requiem.

    It’s the lazy man’s go-to cheap grief piece that’s popular enough to fill seats.

    They might as well just put on a concert Traviata, same cast, same chorus, same cost.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      To mark 20 years since 9/11. But yes, I agree, there are other pieces that would be equally if not more appropriate and not over-exposed.

    • It’s been planned for months…it marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It’s a one-time event. The actual opening night of the season is scheduled for September 27th.

  • Maria says:

    Hope they use a chorus and not a string quartet and a few brass ad a drum for an orchestra! Pity they couldn’t have done an opera in an Opera house than a dramatic oratorio which now seems to be getting flogged to death – and before I get criticised, no disrespect whatsoever to 9/11. That will always remain something SO awful in our time, and beyond words or music.

  • Pianoman says:

    How apropos! If the orchestra won’t play, hire two pianists….I’m ready!

  • BrianB says:

    Fewer than 3 weeks to settle.
    The Verdi Requiem with two piano accompaniment. That should be interesting…

  • SMH says:

    Why? It’s a very powerful work, but certainly quite bleak and desolate…..

    “Deliver me, Lord, from eternal death … when you will come to judge the world by fire.”

    Is that how they really want to open the season?

  • Save the MET says:

    Proving once again, Gelb is not of sound mind and remains mired in depths of manure over his head. He’s now planning the biggest super-spreader possible, as big a chorus and as big an orchestra as he could possibly put on that stage. The idiot DeBlah tried to run an outdoor super-spreader over the weekend in Central Park with a hurricane forecasted. As DeBlah is shortly to be unemployed and Gelb should be, perhaps Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb can run another business into the ground together.