* Notes *
The second performance of The Makropulos Case (Act III pictured left, photograph by Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera) at the Met this season was held yesterday. The production, by Elijah Moshinsky, is fairly static. Some scene changes are made when only the orchestra is playing, and most of these are not strictly necessary, though perhaps elucidating the plot. The offices of Kolenaty and wherever Marty is staying are stylish enough. The sphinx in Act II was not terribly clever. Howard Harrison's lighting was perhaps the best element of the production.
The orchestra showed dynamic range under Maestro Jiří Bělohlávek. The cast is even. Emalie Savoy's Kristina was a touch too mature, but her sound contrasted with Karita Mattila's. Johan Reuter does not have much warmth to his voice, but as Jaroslav Prus, he does not need it. Richard Leech sounded bright and loud as Albert Gregor. Karita Mattila was again splendid as Emilia Marty, searing but beautiful.
* Tattling *
This was the worst audience I have observed at the Met. Latecomers sat on the steps of Family Circle, and one particular woman coughed and coughed. She got into an altercation with the woman next to her, and much violent discussion was heard. Another woman with a standing room ticket tried sitting in the aisle for Act II and was scolded by an usher. My companion noted that the people in Family Circle K 116 and 115 were looking at pornography on a mobile phone during Act III.