Hoffmann's Tales

Thursday, December 3, we opened the new production of “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The picture above (NY Times) shows yours truly peering from around the corner at the wonderful soprano, Anna Netrebko. I am playing the role of Dr. Miracle in Act 2 of the opera. Anna is singing Antonia. Dr. Miracle is just one of four characters I play in this masterpiece.

The evening was a wonderful success and a very tiring event. With an extremely difficult production followed by a gala party and then a long drive home, I didn’t get to bed until around 3:30. Fortunately, the remaining 8 performances should be easier.

I have always enjoyed singing in this opera. This is my 10th different production (that’s 40 different Villainous incarnations). It’s a lot of fun and I am grateful for tremendous colleagues both on and off the set. This is a very special production.

There was added pressure on Thursday evening with the premiere being broadcast on the Sirius/XM Satellite radio network. There was a time when I can remember less pressure on a singer. The internet, satellite radio, HD broadcasts, etc., have greatly increased our exposure--and that’s a tremendous thing. On the other hand, there are very few nights, it seems, where one can take even 1% away from the performance just to gauge things a bit differently. Four more performances will be broadcast and then there is the HD transmission to the theaters on December 19 (that should be a blast). I remember singing in “Hansel and Gretel” a few years back and having that broadcast to the movie theaters. I am so happy to have a copy of that transmission---our children truly enjoy watching it (as do I).

As I write this, it is snowing fairly heavily in Bucks County, PA. We’re only slated to get 2-4” of white stuff but that’s more than enough for me. It sure is beautiful---but I’m afraid it’s a forebearer of a tough winter ahead. We’re due.

Our Christmas decorations are all in order and we’re anticipating a wonderful holiday season. Stop by!!!