>Angel-Juan Diego Florez (wow, is he good-looking) did not repeat his repeat of “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!” in the Met’s “HD Live” transmission yesterday afternoon. Good for him, although he perhaps needn’t have implied, in an intermission interview, that he decided against the encore because the audience didn’t clap hard enough.
It was fun, opera with popcorn (Richard) and ice cream (me). But talk about blue-hair city, I swear I was the youngest person in the (sold-out) theater, and I ain’t no spring chicken. But my fears for the future of the art form are comforted by the fact that almost everybody up on the stage/screen was younger than I, and that my fellow audience members probably listened to Elvis and the Beatles in earlier days. At least Joan Baez. The Met does transmit these performances to a few NYC public schools for free viewing (and has other educational outreach to youth as well) so they’re demonstrably concerned with the graying of their audience, but maybe some art appreciation takes time. There was an old (even then) storybook of opera plots I took out over and over again from the public library when I was nine or so, but I didn’t get into opera itself until college, and I was spending a semester abroad in London, where students could see the English National Opera for a couple of pounds. My first was Salome, with Josephine Barstow as the crazy (and, ultimately, naked) lady. I was hooked.