Happy New Year! Without a doubt, one of 2016’s most exciting music events was the performance of Kaija Saariaho’s “L’Amour de Loin” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Our very first podcast offered some insiders’ ideas about the production. Now, in our second podcast, composer Milica Paranosic goes “on the scene” at Lincoln Center (at the Dec. 24 matinee) to report on audience members’ ideas about and responses to the opera. One theme that emerges is that opera-goers emphatically want to hear more than just the same old “standards” — there’s a real craving for new works! Another frequent response is shock that the Met has not performed an opera by a woman in 113 years – one interviewee called it a “disgrace.” Several opera-goers (including Paranosic herself) offer insightful views on Saariaho’s musical language, especially praising the use of orchestral color, and also commenting on the structure and pacing of the work.
The issue of Suanna Mälkki being only the fourth woman to ever conduct at the Met is also raised: “if the Met wanted to change that tomorrow, they would have many viable candidates.”
All in all, the response to the opera is overwhelmingly positive “This opera really takes you someplace. You are transported.” And the ovation we hear at the end of the podcast definitely conveys that conclusion with great enthusiasm.