04 Nov 2005
Le Nozze di Figaro, Metropolitan Opera, New York
By Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 4 November 2005]
The Met opened its season last September with a “gala” comprising isolated segments of three dissimilar operas. A striking curtainraiser involved act one of Le Nozze di Figaro with a stellar cast led by Bryn Terfel, Isabel Bayrakdarian and Susan Graham. James Levine exuded sympathy while enforcing stylish propulsion in the pit. Cock- eared optimists assumed this was a preview of coming seasonal attractions. When Figaro returned on Wednesday, however, standards had changed drastically. So had the conductor and ensemble.