Il Trovatore

I went to see Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday night. It was the first time that I’d seen it and it was terrific.

It didn’t start off that way for me, beginning when I sat down in my seat, which was in the second row of the top section on the right and the second in from the aisle. Unfortunately, my view of the stage was literally bisected in two by part of the railing that’s at the bottom of the stairs, so at times I had to shift right or left or up or down to see properly. Hopefully I won’t have to sit there again.

Enrico Caruso famously said that casting Il Trovatore is simple; all that’s needed are the four best singers in the world. Well, the cast for this was very good, with American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as the heroine, American mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick as the gypsy Azucena, Argentine tenor Marcelo Alvarez as the heroic troubador of the title and Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky as the bad guy. Unfortunately, Alvarez had to quit after the first act and was replaced by American tenor Philip Webb making his Met debut. He did a decent job. (I even read a news story about it, here.)

The longest ovations of the evening by far were given for Ms. Radvanovsky (photo, above) and they were well deserved. I had recently read in an interview with her that the Met has not signed for anything during the upcoming seasons, and I felt that this may have been the audience’s way of telling the Met’s management, “Bring her back! Bring her back!”

Well, I went around to the stage door afterwards to get an autograph and a photo, and I was happy to hear that she will be back at the Met after all to sing in Aida – but not until 2012 !!! Oh, well. Something to look forward to, I guess. She also mentioned that she’ll be making her first recording, which is good.

My other news regarding the Met is what I did not do – which was attend last night’s 125th anniversary gala. I have nobody else to blame but myself. As a former subscriber I was sent an invitation, but I waited on it so long that by the time I called in January all the tickets were gone.

I was seriously considering trying to get a standing room ticket for such an event, but with my bad right foot still hurting when I stand on it for more than a short time, I decided not to do it. It was supposed to be webcast live on the Met’s website, but every time I tried it, no connection could be make and it didn’t work. The reviews I read today say that it was a fantastic evening of music and celebration.

Oh, well.

I did go yesterday to the International Center of Photography. The ground floor display of recent fashion photography as seen in magazines was not of much interest to me. The lower level exhibition of fashion and celebrity images from the 1920’s and ’30’s by Edward Steichen (photo, right) was, conversely, lustrous.

I was not planning to lead off today’s post with opera stuff, as that’s what I posted last time. I was planning to post some digital images of the model I was going to photograph today, in my final photo session before the new 2257 regulations go into effect. The problem is that she never showed up.

I had made the arrangements a couple of weeks ago, and sent her an e-mail yesterday asking her to confirm. I never got a response. Then I tried calling her on her cell phone, and every time I tried, I got a message telling me that the call could not go through and to try again later.

I set up my studio gear in the hope that she would still show up, but she never did, so I don’t know what happened. I just hope that she’s okay.

This type of thing is why I don’t like to rent studio space. If the model fails to show, I’m still stuck with paying the rental bill. If I book two models to insure that I have at least one in the case of a no-show, then I run the risk of going over budget if both should show up.

Anyway, I’ve packed up my studio and photo gear and put it all away into my closets. Who knows when I’ll use them again. Like I said, this was to be my last photo shoot before the new 2257 rules go into effect this Thursday. Beginning then – well, just wait until you read my next posting in a couple of days to find out.

[Later: I finally heard from the model around 6 pm when she wrote to me on MM. She apologized and said that her phone had been stolen and she couldn’t get in touch with me in time. I believe her and I’m glad she’s okay. I just don’t know when I’ll be able work with her again.

Oh, well.]

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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