Le Nozze di Figaro, Metropolitan Opera, New York

Mozart_Verona_small.jpgBy Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 4 November 2005]
The Met opened its season last September with a ìgalaî comprising isolated segments of three dissimilar operas. A striking curtainraiser involved act one of Le Nozze di Figaro with a stellar cast led by Bryn Terfel, Isabel Bayrakdarian and Susan Graham. James Levine exuded sympathy while enforcing stylish propulsion in the pit. Cock- eared optimists assumed this was a preview of coming seasonal attractions. When Figaro returned on Wednesday, however, standards had changed drastically. So had the conductor and ensemble.