Watching the Met opening night from Times Square

Watching the Met opening night from Times Square


norman lebrecht

September 28, 2022

They streamed Medea to the heart of Manhattan.

So what did folks think?

‘My grandma would have liked it,’ said one young thing.

photo: Tischler/Met Opera


  • Mary says:

    Upon experiencing my first opera about a jilted wife who kills her children out of spite, on a screen surrounded by towering neon Broadway billboards, punctuated by police sirens and rumbling subway lines, inhaling the nippy autumn air mixed with piss and sauerkraut, I immediately logged on to the Met website and and bought season passes for me and my family, and revised my will to cut out my own children in favor of the Met.

  • MR says:

    Speaking of Times Square and opera, on a Saturday spring night in June 2019 – I love New York in June – Lee Konitz and I drove from his West 86 street apartment to the Village Vanguard, and I bravely navigated through the heart of Times Square, both of us enjoying the colorful lights and teeming crowds while comfortably sequestered inside my car. Adding to the spectacle, I had turned on the jazz station, WKCR FM of Columbia University, not realizing they play opera on Saturday nights. Anyway, a Wagner opera was being featured, and listening intently, Lee sang out loud a particular phrase he admired, and then proceeded to improvise vocally, creating variations on the phrase that fit in with the changing music. It’s pretty much unknown how Konitz was a highly developed jazz singer – he most definitely could have been one of the greats – before he dropped that to focus only on alto saxophone, he and Charlie Parker being the finest ever on that horn. At the Village Vanguard, pianist Harold Mabern joined us at our table for some lively conversation. It all seems like it happened last night, but both Lee and Harold have passed on since those shining hours. I did get a great photo of Lee standing outside the club wearing a cap of mine he borrowed. He utterly charmed the young women included in the photo embedded here.

    • Sam's Hot Car Lot says:

      Nice recollection. Such a shame that Lee was taken by covid, like several other New York based jazz musicians early in the pandemic.

  • Morgan says:

    Grumble, grumble. No Manhattanite would call Times Square ‘the heart of Manhattan.’

  • Karden says:

    Meanwhile, there are a few articles in the NY Times today about the reborn Philharmonic/Fisher/Geffen Hall! One of the articles ends with the words “fingers crossed.” Oh-kay.