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Opera 24-7

The Met’s current revival of director Adrian Noble’s 2007 version of Verdi’s Macbeth is remarkable not just for Mark Thompson’s thrillingly stark sets, and for Thomas Hampson and Nadja Michael’s chilling portrayal of a timeless power couple, but for Dimitri Pittas’s show-stopping lament as Macduff. If his traumatized “Ah la paterna mano” does not bring a lump to your throat, better check your pulse. Macbeth plays, passim, to April 9, and you can catch it – alas, sans visuals – on March 29 on Sirius XM Channel 74.

If you’re someone who must have opera on call at all times, there’s a new free iPad app, “Met Opera on Demand” (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/met-opera-on-demand/id505026963) that will stream you the Met’s “Live in HD” series, plus hundreds of historic clips, for a subscription price starting at $14.99 a month. Forty-four selections are available so far, with more being added three months after their theatrical release.

Topping my must-resee list would be last season’s comic romp Le Comte Ory, masterfully directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Juan Diego Flórez as a romantic rascal, creamy-voiced Diana Damrau as his a straight-laced countess ( his intended prey), and Joyce DiDonato androgynously charming as her smitten page/confidant.

JoyceDiDonato triumphant

For a inspiring, behind-the-glimpse of a down-to-earth diva, check out DiDonato’s blog entry following her recent Grammy win, at www.joycedidonato.com/journal/.  She describes a series of seemingly untoppable moments, culminating in her thrill over a young girl’s query: “I don’t know what kind of music it was that you did, but where can I find more of it?”

True to form, DiDonato capped her acceptance speech with a shoutout to “the teachers I had along the way.” She elaborated: “There’s a war on against the arts in our country right now. We need the music teachers to be supported … We need more music in our lives.”

To which one can only append a rousing “Amen!” chorus.

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