>Went to my first New York Met broadcast to theaters today -- Massenet's
>Thais, with Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson -- and was very pleased.
>And would you believe it: the 471-seat arena-style theater was sold
>out...weeks in advance!
Our little town of Middlebury, Vermont -- population about 9000 -- has
just started showing the HiDef Met broadcasts -- after a community effort
to get the appropriate equipment for the Town Hall Theater, a community-owned
venue. Our first broadcast was of 'La Rondine', and like Mitch's
experience, it was sold out. As is the rest of the season. A meeting
yesterday of the Opera Company of Middlebury's board (a co-sponsor of
the Met Broadcasts) voted to add an encore showing a week later for each
of the remaining broadcasts, and they are already up and available on
the THT's website.
After that first showing I can't tell you how many people I ran into who
either had been there and had fallen in love with the whole thing, or
had heard about it and were eager to get in on the remaining shows for
the season. Of course, Middlebury is a college community and one might
expect interest from a well-educated populace. But we are actually
rather stunned by the response.
And, by the way, the same night as the Saturday afternoon broadcast of
'La Rondine', there was a chamber music concert at the college of some
twenty-something no-name instrumentalists* who played the Mozart E flat
piano quartet and the 1st and 3rd Brahms piano quartets -- one L O N G
program -- that was also sold out. It was one of the best chamber
concerts I've been to in a long while. I was so psyched I wasn't able
to sleep afterwards, and finally got out of bed, went downstairs, put
on the Marc-Andre Hamelin / Leopold Trio recording of the Brahms quartets
and honestly felt I wasn't hearing anything better than what I'd heard
that night locally.
*Pei-Yao Wang, piano; Tai Murray, violin; Eric Nowlin, viola; Sophie
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