Teddy Roosevelt, the Chicago Cubs, & operas by women at the Met

Teddy Roosevelt, the Chicago Cubs, & operas by women at the Met

Jenna Simeonov

The Metropolitan Opera is gearing up for its production of Kaaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, which runs December 1-29; it marks the first opera by a woman to go up at the Met since Ethel Smyth’s Der Wald in 1903.

On the one hand, this is great news. There are indeed operas - and good ones - written by women, and Saariaho’s mesmerizing tale of 12th-century troubadour Jaufré Rudel is one of them. On the other hand, it’s fairly stunning that after Der Wald, there was a 113-year wait for the Met (the Met, for goodness’ sake!) to stage a second opera by a woman composer.

So, we were left feeling half justified in our exasperation, and half tickled by a few tweets on the topic, by @PianistswKittens and @mccanner. First comes the shock:

And just to put into perspective just how long it’s been since 1903:

At this point, @mccanner seemed just about done:

Twitter fun aside, we’re excited to see the combination of Saariaho’s trance-inducing music, Robert Lepage’s notorious visual feasts, and the small-but-mighty cast of Eric Owens as Jaufré Rudel, Susanna Phillips as Clémence, and Tamara Mumford as Pèlerin (The Pilgrim).

And, who knows? If the Met keeps up their newly revived habit of staging operas by women, they’ll soon join the ranks of illustrious companies like Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, Tapestry Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and the Canadian Opera Company.

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