“Peter Sellars is in, Franco Zeffirelli is out,” writes Daniel J. Wakin in Tuesday’s (2/23) New York Times. “The Metropolitan Opera, which announced its plans for the 2010-11 season on Monday, said Mr. Sellars would make his directing debut at the house with ‘Nixon in China,’ John Adams’s 1987 opera. Meanwhile, a Zeffirelli production—’La Traviata’—will bite the dust. The ‘Traviata’ news is no big surprise. The Met has slowly been phasing out the lavish spectacles of Italian operas directed by Mr. Zeffirelli, which have been around for decades, to the outrage of his supporters and other traditional opera fans. This season, new versions replaced his longstanding ‘Tosca’ and ‘Carmen’ productions. … The cost of an average individual ticket will rise by 11 percent, while subscriber tickets will go up an average of 6 percent. The Met said it had not made ‘across the board’ increases in four years, although individual categories have gone up. It boasted that about one-third of tickets would cost less than $100 and said that discounts for students, under-30s and last-minute buyers would continue. … The Met had to scale back some of its ambitious plans for this season because of the recession. … The season will open on Sept. 27 with ‘Das Rheingold,’ the first installment of the ‘Ring,’ conducted by James Levine, the music director.”

Posted February 23, 2010