The cheering crowd simply wouldn’t leave. Even after the clearly happy artists had emptied the stage and the house lights went on, the applause continued. Philadelphia audiences—accustomed to being treated as an appendage to the New York cognoscenti who really count—knew that this was An Important Moment… and we weren’t going to let it go.
Our Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin (who also, by the way, serves that function also at a theater one hundred miles to the north) pulled off the brilliant idea to use this orchestra along with guest soloists to preview a newly commissioned opera by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Greg Pierce. That work, an adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s acclaimed 1998 novel, The Hours, would thereby get a practice run in concert form, before its staged debut on November 22nd at… oh, all right: the Met.
So yes: there was an unmistakable element of local boosterism here. But that’s not all it was…
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