Met Opera launches ‘austerity opera’ ahead of new season

Written by By Karae Seymour, CNN

“I Savor Everything” is set to open at the Metropolitan Opera, New York on September 28.

The vivid new production is a cheeky nod to a little-known but distinctly feminine subgenre of opera known as the post-coital aria. The women on stage enact one, much as the libretto of “Gianni Schicchi” does.

Known today as the “Giacomo Monteverdi Gesudol,” the comic music style evokes the long-lost art of Italian writer Galileo Galilei, who wrote on delirious rambling into the middle of the night in the 17th century.

So it’s only fitting that the libretto for Antonio Pappano’s production which premieres in London on October 17 — a work that’s poised to be the most important season of the young Met General Manager Carlo Rizzi’s tenure as general manager — is itself a cartoon (albeit a deeply serious one).

1 / 9 “I Savor Everything” is set to open at the Metropolitan Opera, New York on September 28. Credit: Maria Irene Borromeo / AP Photo/EMPICS Entertainment

“This is not my look,” Pappano, a four-time Grammy Award winner, told CNN ahead of the production’s premiere. “But this is not my look, either.”

The self-confessed “comic opera lover” has taken a keen interest in “I Savor Everything.” “It’s a comedic opera, I think, and I feel the need to develop this aspect in both productions of all my productions,” he said.

And while he acknowledges there will be more to know about than his opera about a plucky waitress who steals her boss’ love, he argues opera needs to remain irreverent, “especially in Europe where the subject matter is so serious.”

But while Pappano’s vision is hardly quirky, Pappano says this production of “I Savor Everything” took on his character. And so the pacing takes on the forms of flash bursts of patter, shimmying falsetto and frenetic switchbacks.

“I’d like to give you impressions of to love’s ass, but I’m still in the process of trying to find the idea,” Pappano said. “But definitely my character is moving along that road.”

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