Medea: Live in HD Transmission Transcript

ROLL-IN A: Funding / Opening Titles



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READ / INTERVIEW: DiDonato Show Intro & Peter Gelb interview

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Hello.  I’m Joyce DiDonato and it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to the new season of the Met Live in HD, our gift to opera lovers both near and far.  We start with Cherubini’s Medea, composed in 1797, but only now premiering at the Met.  That’s because in the course of opera history, very few singers could handle the superhuman demands of the title role. The operatic adaptation of the Greek myth about a vengeful sorceress who was a signature role of Maria Callas.  Today, it is owned on the Met stage by the one and only Sondra Radvanovsky, a diva at the peak of her powers.  The story of Medea, ruthlessly betrayed by men, who then harnesses her rage into extreme acts of revenge is a timeless tale that resonates powerfully today.

The role of Medea requires an artist of staggering vocal and dramatic range, not to mention sheer stamina.  Lucky us, we have all of that in Sondra.  Before we enter Medea’s mythological realm, I have the great joy of speaking with the Met’s General Ge – General Manager, Peter Gelb.  Hi, Peter.

PETER GELB:  Hi, Joyce.  It’s so great that you’re hosting the show today.  And –


PETER GELB:  — to our viewers, um, around the world who are watching, I just want to welcome you all.  Um, this is, uh, really the beginning of the HD season, and, uh, it’s a second opening for us.  So we’re thrilled today.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  So why start with Medea?

PETER GELB:  Well, you know, when – if you recall, and I know you do, when you sang, uh, Norma with Sondra a few years ago, um, that was, uh, kind of a, a, a really very powerful moment, uh, for Sondra and her career.


PETER GELB:  And, and yours as well.  And, and she said to me shortly after that, uh, the one role she really wanted to sing was Medea.


PETER GELB:  And you know, she’s probably the only soprano who, who would make a request, uh, like that, and I would respond to in the affirmative.  So I said, okay, we’ll do it.  And, then I approached David, McVicar, who – to direct it, and, uh, the rest is history on the stage.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Amazing choice, because it launched the season –


JOYCE DIDONATO:  — with just great tragedy and amazing diva stardom, which we love. So what else can we look forward to this season here?

PETER GELB:  Well, you know, the Met HD season is a microcosm of our entire season.  So it combines classic, uh, repertoire, like, uh, our next, uh, presentation of La Traviata, but it also includes what’s really most important for opera and the Met, which is – and the future of opera – which is new work.  So we’re really particularly excited about the opera that you’re going to be starring in together with Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara, with The Hours, which is an extraordinary operatic adap – adaptation of Kevin Puts of the novel by Michael Cunningham, that tells the story of Virginia Woolfe, played by you, and, uh, and takes place both in, in three different periods of time.


PETER GELB:  And, it features Renée’s comeback to the Met.  So it’s a very – it’s very special. And it’s really what is driving new audiences to the Met.  Um, the future of opera really depends upon, uh, creating audiences, uh, the younger people.  Um, we’re also very excited about Champion, Terence Blanchard’s opera coming later in the season with –

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Ryan Speedo Green.

PETER GELB:  Ryan Speedo Green.


PETER GELB:  The great African American bass-baritone.


PETER GELB:  So, uh, this is a very, very exciting time for opera and the Met.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Well, I know there’s a lot of people watching today, but it’s thrilling.  We have a full house here today, stacked.  What have been the challenges, as we’re emerging from this pandemic and coming back?

PETER GELB:  Well, I think the great – you know, the greatest challenge has really been to, to get the whole company, moving together in a – and, and you know, we, we feel it’s more important than ever for opera to be stronger and more powerful and more potent creatively.  And that’s what we’re dedicated to –

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Well, we’re –

PETER GELB:  And we’re, and we’re, and we’re doing it.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  And we’re going to experience it right now.

PETER GELB:  Right.  Thank you so much, Joyce.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Thanks, Peter.  Today, Sondra Radvanovsky is joined by tenor Matthew Polenzani, who plays Giasone, or Jason or the Argonauts, for whom Medea sacrificed everything to help him steal the royal treasure, known as the golden fleece.  But when the curtain goes up, Giasone has abandoned Medea, with whom he has two children, and is about to marry the princess Glauce, sung by soprano Janai Brugger. Bass Michele Pertusi as Creonte, Glauce’s father and the King of Corinth.  And mezzo soprano Ekaterina Gubanova is Medea’s loyal attendant Neris.  For this new Met production, Director David McVicar has emphasized Medea’s status as an outcast from the Court of Corinth, an isolation that fuels her rage and the unspeakable tragedy that results from it.  Maestro Carlo Rizzi is ready to go to the pit.  Here is Medea.


MAN:  Nice, nice.

MAN:  Just protecting him.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Beautiful.  Nice.

WOMAN:  Stand-by.

INTERVIEW: DiDonato w/ Matthew Polenzani & Janai Brugger

JOYCE DIDONATO:  The happy couple.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Our, our happiness – we’ve got happiness.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Hi, Janai and Matthew, really.  It’s an exhilarating first act.  I mean, it’s just really extraordinary.  Matthew, my love.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  You’re so, you’re so used to playing heroic roles, like the good guys, but I, I don’t know if you’re aware that Jason doesn’t exactly win our, our sympathy.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  What do you have to say for him?


JOYCE DIDONATO:  Defend him.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Well, listen, I do think because he does the right thing, which turns out to be wrong, because of course, she – well, we’re not going to give away what happens, in case you don’t know, but he does the right thing in the end.  Yeah, he screws her over sort of, but then he gives her – he, he says you can have a day with the kids.  That’s cool.  I get it.  And a fateful, a fateful sort of decision.


MATTHEW POLENZANI:  I mean, he’s – I don’t think of him as a true – a complete tool.  He’s not a complete jerk.  He’s, he’s just got plans, and I don’t know.  His, his heart is still intact, even if some of it is blackened.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  He’s got plans.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Right.  Correct.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  That’s a great way of saying it.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  Janai?  Glauce.  I mean, you just sound radiant, but how do you look at her?  I mean, is she an innocent victim or is she a slight accomplice here?

JANAI BRUGGER:  Oh I don’t think she’s accomplice.  I think she genuinely, uh, is fearful of what Medea –


JANAI BRUGGER: — is going through.  I don’t know if going through, but her wrath, you know, like just that shadow is just looming over her, which is why at the beginning, she can’t even really be happy in her beautiful gown and getting ready.  She’s just terrified about Medea showing up.  And he’s trying to reassure her that it’s no way, but as we just saw.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  And that his plans are going to work.

JANAI BRUGGER:  Epic wedding crasher.  Yeah.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Well, everything up to this point has been rolling very nicely.


MATTHEW POLENZANI:  With like, uh, she’s (indiscernible) going to go –

JOYCE DIDONATO:  There’s more.  There’s more.

JANAI BRUGGER:  A glimmer of hope.


JANAI BRUGGER:  A glimmer of hope.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  So this, this opera comes from 1797, and it’s a – an era of the opera where we don’t have a lot of repertoire, it’s sort of between classicism of Mozart and the Romanticism that’s coming.  Have you had to approach this vocally in a different way?

JANAI BRUGGER:  Yes, I mean, for me, uh, the tessitura is – I mean, it’s – just sits higher, just like, where it starts and where it begins.  You can even hear that kind of in the overture, you just get a – an idea of, of where it’s going to start.  But, um, for me, I, I try to approach it just like I do every other role, but it’s definitely, it’s definitely a little bit higher.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  So, so funny because for me it’s the complete opposite.  I mean, uh, I saw Luca Salsi on my way in here, and he’s here doing, um, Traviata now.  He was here for Tosca and now he’s Tra – Traviata.  I said to him, you could sing this part.


MATTHEW POLENZANI:  I mean, the B that we put in at the end of the first duet, that’s not written.  Um, we just do a little –

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Yeah, but we’re glad you put it in.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Oh no, but it’s exciting, and I’m glad it’s there.  But, uh, otherwise, this is a quasi-baritone part.  I mean, like, uh, so I don’t approach it any differently, though.  I mean, like I still – I mean, I can’t – I don’t sound like a baritone when I sing, and I don’t sing like a baritone. But, um, but for me, it’s, uh, lower, so like my warming up, I don’t go quite – I don’t quite to the same, the same place when I warm up.


MATTHEW POLENZANI:  And I spend a little more time in the middle.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  You all sound amazing.  Matthew, you’re coming up on 25 years here at the Met.  I mean, we’re just –

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  This is my 25th season, yeah.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Yeah, amazing.

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Yeah.  I, I can’t believe it, actually.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Thank you for kicking us off in this, in this opera, so extraordinary.

JANAI BRUGGER:  Thank you.


JANAI BRUGGER:  Thank you so much.  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Good luck –

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  And by the way, she just said to me, when we were chatting backstage, I asked her how the hours was going, and she said, we’ve already had – we’ve only been here a week.  We’ve already had goosebump moments going on.


MATTHEW POLENZANI:  So like, this is going to be something awesome.  I look forward to that–

JOYCE DIDONATO:  We’re going to take your baton and carry it (indiscernible) –

MATTHEW POLENZANI:  Awesome.  All right, see you later.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Thank you, guys.  Beautiful.

JANAI BRUGGER:  Thank you.


READ: DiDonato Throw to tape

JOYCE DIDONATO:  As we’ve already seen, the role of Medea makes incredible vocal and physical demands on the soprano who dares to sing her.  From her very first entrance, she never leaves the stage.  The Met’s video team followed Sondra earlier this week in the lead-up to her previous performance.  Here is a day in the life of a diva.

ROLL-IN B: Day in the Life of a Diva

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  The day in the life of a diva. Hello, I'm Sondra Radvanovsky. Have you ever wondered what the final days, hours and minutes before the curtain rises on the Met stage and like for diva? Well, you're about to find out. First up, I met with the two founders of the Sondra Radvanovsky Instagram fan club. And now, I'm going to visit my dear friend Marina Abramovich. Hello! How are you? How are you darling?  Medea is such a difficult role. I'm on the stage like a snake, like I am crawling around like a snake. I am bruised as I showed you like everywhere

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ:  You know, I know when I am giving one hundred and fifty percent, it’s all I have.


MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ:  But you have to give everything you have.

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  Before my vocal coaching and a visit to my osteopath, we have a quick trip to celebrate a colleague with a champagne toast. And now I'm going to my voice coach, Tony Minoli to go work on my Carnegie Hall recital music so we'll see you there.

TONY MINOLI:  Right off the chord.

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  (singing) E pur così in un giorno perdo fasti, e grandezze?

TONY MINOLI:  I mean, and really, Cesare.

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:   Do I want to take that breath?


SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  (singing) Cesare il mio bel nume.

TONY MINOLI:  It’s up to you.

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  (singing) è forse estinto…

TONY MINOLI:  That for sure –


TONY MINOLI:  — because you don’t know if he’s dead. We need to work on that.



SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  Maybe not today.

Next, I'm off to visit the man who gets my body ready to unlock that inner stage snake. My osteopathic manual practitioner Joel Egan. He's truly gotten me through these performances. Being a warrior princess on stage comes with a price and this gentleman right here makes it all better. And now it's three hours to showtime. My lovely makeup artists begin to transform my face from Sondra to Medea. Don't you just love this super rocker chick dramatic eye makeup? And now, since I am not a dancer, one has to loosen up their 53 year old hips. But you know what I should be used to this by now because every David McVicar show that I do, I am on the floor. If you want to move like a snake and do all these cobra things that I do, you have to be loose in hips here. And finally I get my wig on and then it's time for a quick fight warm up.

MAN:  All right, folks come on.  There, there she is.


MAN:  Hey.  Great, should we go half speed? Great, should we go three quarter? Give me full speed nice and sharp everyone, yeah?

MAN:  It’s always (indiscernible).

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  And you wonder why I need to go to an osteopath.

MAN:  Oh this right here.

MAN:  Toi, toi, toi, everyone.

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  Toi, toi, everyone.  Have fun.

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY:  And after all these preparations, it's now time to take the stage and become Medea.

INTERVIEW: DiDonato w/ David McVicar

JOYCE DIDONATO:  I’ve always said opera is like an Olympic sport, and that certainly proves my point.  I know Sondra would be the first to tell you that there is no way she could pull off this monumental operatic feat without her partner in crime, the brilliant director David McVicar.  David, you join me now.  Welcome.  You’ve done, your shows have been featured a lot in the HD, but this is the first time you’re here in person.

DAVID MCVICAR:  Yeah, I’m normally gone by now.


DAVID MCVICAR:  I’m not – I normally leave after the premiere, so it’s, it’s –

JOYCE DIDONATO:  We have it when you leave.

DAVID MCVICAR:  Oh bless you.  It’s nice to be here and actually be part of this.  It’s nice.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  It is.  So this is the first time that you’ve staged Medea, the first time the Met has done Medea.  What has surprised you about this piece?

DAVID MCVICAR:  I like Hinterland pieces like this.  I like weird, little fringy sort of like, hidden away for ages until someone – some soprano comes along good enough to do it, and then we get it again.  And, I just find the music fascinating.


DAVID MCVICAR:  You know, because this composer was born a contemporary of Mozart and died a contemporary of Verdi and Wagner.


DAVID MCVICAR:  So this music is sort of like a, a bridge piece, um, a kind of genre that we don’t hear very much.


DAVID MCVICAR:  And that’s amazed me.  And what’s amazed me, too, is, um, how powerful his dramatic writing is, and also, how super humanely insane the lead role is.


DAVID MCVICAR:  Because that original soprano, Julie Scio, must have had a larynx of steel to get through this because –


DAVID MCVICAR:  — in the original Paris production, the role was even longer than this.  So, um, kudos to Joyce, you know?

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Yeah.  So you have done a number of shows here.  You’ve done The Three Queens with Sondra.  You’ve staged her also –

DAVID MCVICAR:  Did I say kudos to Joyce or say kudos to Sondra?

JOYCE DIDONATO:  But I took it.

DAVID MCVICAR:  Okay, sorry.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  I took it.  And I’m going to pass it right back to Sondra.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  We know, we know what you meant.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  So you’ve worked with her so much.  I mean, you’ve done – you two are sort of like the, um, uh, um, quintessential pair that really bring out the best in each other.  The Three Queens.  You’ve also done Norma with her as well.  Talk a little bit about what sets her apart as a singer and as an actress, which is so important for your pieces.

DAVID MCVICAR:  It’s just the sheer commitment.  Everything she does.  Um, she’s so focused on what she does and she’s so brave in what she does.


DAVID MCVICAR:  And she doesn’t, um – I work her really, really hard.  And sometimes, she yells a bit, but then she does knuckles down and, and lets me get on with it.


DAVID MCVICAR:  Because something like this, it’s like climbing Everest.  So, um, I’ve been really pushing her really, really hard in rehearsals, and she’s taken it.  Um, and we’re seeing the results.  You’re seeing the results today.  It’s, it’s –

JOYCE DIDONATO:  We’re living it with her.

DAVID MCVICAR:  It’s an extraordinary performance, you know?


DAVID MCVICAR:  It’s, um – yeah, she’s a very, very special artist, and I’m really, really happy that we’ve managed to do so much together.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  David, you know I know firsthand that you’re really – uh, every singer I know that has worked with you will say that you’re the singer’s director’s dream.  So congratulations on this.  It’s a huge thing to have brought this to the Met.

DAVID MCVICAR:  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Congratulations.  We love you.

DAVID MCVICAR:  Thank you.


READ: DiDonato Neubauer / Toll / Throw to break

JOYCE DIDONATO:  The Met’s Live in HD Series is made possible to its founding sponsor, the Neubauer Family Foundation, and digital support is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.  The Met Live in HD Series is supported by Rolex.  Today’s performance of Medea will also be heard later this season over the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.  We’ll be back after a break.

READ: DiDonato intro tape

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Many of you watching today relished soprano Nadine Sierra’s star turn in Lucia di Lammermoor last May.  Well, two weeks from today, Nadine will be back on the Met stage and in front of you, our cinema audience, in another touchstone soprano role, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata.  The final dress rehearsal was yesterday.  Here’s a sneak preview.

INTERVIEW: DiDonato w/ Nadine Sierra

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Nadine Sierra is with me now.  Nadine.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  Like we’re hearing this in the background, and I, uh, it’s just extraordinary.

NADINE SIERRA:  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Siempre libre.  And I know yesterday was the dress rehearsal.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  Open to children. 


JOYCE DIDONATO:  They must’ve gone crazy after that.

NADINE SIERRA:  Yeah, they were having a lot of fun.  It’s always nice to have – I mean, you know, to have their reaction in the audience, it’s always a very genuine one.


NADINE SIERRA:  So yeah, it just makes – it makes the performance different, in a way.


NADINE SIERRA:  It adds a different kind of excitement, let’s say.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  It brings excitement for opening night.

NADINE SIERRA:  Yeah, I think so.  I think so.



JOYCE DIDONATO:  Last spring, you were an unforgettable Lucia in the Met’s really quite contemporary production.

NADINE SIERRA:  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  What about Violetta contrasting role, how do you connect with her?

NADINE SIERRA:  Ugh.  In many different ways.  Uh, also my adult self-connects with her a lot more than let’s say, uh, Lucia, only because Lucia, she’s, she’s younger, she’s – she hasn’t lived certain things in life that she would like to –


NADINE SIERRA:  — that Violetta obviously has.  Violetta has more emotional intelligence as a person.  Um, far more maturity and the sense of self.  It’s why Lucia has the meltdown she has, because she doesn’t have that.


NADINE SIERRA:  So with Violetta, I, I can understand her a lot more in that perspective because I’ve now lived more things in my life than, uh, than before, when I played Lucia even the first time maybe eight years ago or something like that.  So yeah, so that’s why.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  That segues really beautifully into the contrasting vocal demands of Violetta.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  So we have the flighty world of Siempre Libre that goes into this melting Adios al pasado, this emotional intelligence, wisdom that she has.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  Talk to me about your vocal journey, your pacing of that.

NADINE SIERRA:  Oh, well, I, I think it just is a culmination of all the years that I’ve, um, kind of developed into singing and voice, you know?  Violetta is the hardest role I’ve sung up until now, vocally, let’s say.  So I’ve had all of these years of training to, to get up to that point.  And I feel very comfortable vocally with Violetta, but it’s only because of all of the training and the years that have progressed since the beginning of learning how to sing at six years old.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  But on the same time that personal journey you’ve been making as well.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  And we feel that when you sing her.

NADINE SIERRA:  Yeah, thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  We feel that.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  The HD is on November 5th.


JOYCE DIDONATO:  That we’re going to be cheering you on.

NADINE SIERRA:  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  And I know everybody’s going to be really thrilled to see you.

NADINE SIERRA:  Thanks, Joyce.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  It’s great to see you, and I miss you.

NADINE SIERRA:  Good to see you, too.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Toi, toi, toi.

NADINE SIERRA:  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Have a great opening night.

NADINE SIERRA:  Thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  And thanks for joining.

READ: DiDonato PSA / Fundraising / Throw to HD season preview

JOYCE DIDONATO:  I love watching a gifted artist such as Nadine really come into her own singing the biggest roles in the repertory here at the Met.  Her portrayal of Violetta in La Traviata is sure to be dazzling when it’s shown live in cinemas in a couple of weeks.  But it’s important to point out that her performance no doubt will be even richer and indescribably more visceral when experienced live here in the opera house.  There’s simply nothing better than hearing a great singer soar over a world class orchestra in person. So please come to the Met or visit your local opera company.  Today, we have a new Medea.  And in just a month from now, I will perform another Met premiere, Kevin Puts’ The Hours, based on the award-winning novel and the film.  We’ve just wrapped up our first week of rehearsals, and there really aren’t words to describe how much I’m looking forward to starring alongside two of the all-time greats, Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara, and with my dear friend and colleague Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium. As we heard from Peter Gelb at the start of the performance, it’s really essential for companies like the Met to bring new work like The Hours to the operatic stage, in order to keep our art form really vital and thriving.  But commissioning and staging grand opera at the highest arti – artistic level is tremendously expensive, and ticket sales cover just a fraction of the costs.  The Met relies greatly on the generosity of audiences like you. So if you’re able to make a donation to the Met, please call us at 1-800-MET-OPERA or visit us at and make a contribution.  We thank you so much for your support.  Today’s Medea is the first of 10 live cinema transmissions this season.  Here is a look at what’s coming up.

INTERVIEW: DiDonato w/ Maestro Carlo Rizzi

JOYCE DIDONATO:  I’m in the conductor’s dressing room with Maestro Carlo Rizzi.  Hello, buongiorno.

CARLO RIZZI:  Buongiorno, Joyce.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  I understand this is the first time – you’ve conducted a lot of operas – but this is your first time doing Medea.  So I’m curious what, what has struck you and grabbed you the most about this piece?

CARLO RIZZI:  Well, the drama, the drama of Medea that of course, uh, you know, comes from the Greek tragedy, but the way it is put in music, uh, is, uh, absolutely incredible.  And, uh, yes, it’s the first time that I, uh, actually saw Medea, because of course, I heard Medea before, but I’ve never seen it in the theater. Uh, but this process here at the Met with this opera, uh, has, has, has been something special because nobody, uh, nobody, uh, knew it, uh, uh, before.  So it’s been, uh, really a discovery for everybody, a special thing.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  And it must be quite incredible for you to take the energy from what you’re getting onstage and put that into the orchestra.  So when, when you first meet the orchestra, what are you working with them to emphasize, to bring out in the score?  Because they also didn’t know this score.

CARLO RIZZI:  Well, it’s interesting because, uh, uh, on the paper, the opera looks very easy for the orchestra.  But, uh, you know, there are some fantastic solos for the bassoon, for the flute and they, they play them wonderfully.  But the, the interesting thing for me, uh, has been to explain to the orchestra what was their function was, because it was not –


CARLO RIZZI:  — only accompanying.  And this for me is the interesting thing of this opera, is not only in the voices.  A lot of things, a lot of the subtext, the dramatic subtext, subtext happens in the orchestra.  And this is why I think Cherubini is really in a way in this opera, a pioneer, uh, of what will come, uh, what, what will come later. Uh, I mean, already, the symphony, the overture is, uh, really looking toward the future.


CARLO RIZZI:  Then you have the first aria of Glauce that is sort of Mozart-like.


CARLO RIZZI:  But be prepared what happens now musically in the third act.  Uh, we are skipping 100 years ahead.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  This is amazing.  This is very exciting.  You have an incredible prima donna in this with Sondra.  What was your role in helping her find Medea for this stage?

CARLO RIZZI:  Well, first one thing that we have to say that without somebody that can sing Medea, just don’t do Medea.


CARLO RIZZI:  Because, that is the 90 percent of everything, not only vocally, not only musically, but also as a presence on the stage.  So what we have done with Sondra, you know, I always believe, in the fact that as a conductor, I need to get the best of what I have in front of me.


CARLO RIZZI:  It will be stupid for me –

ANNOUNCER:  Maestro to the pit, please.  Maestro to the pit.

CARLO RIZZI:  Ah okay.



JOYCE DIDONATO:  We know you love her and you’re giving her a great guidance down there.  Thank you so much.

CARLO RIZZI:  Yeah, thank you.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  That’s your cue.

CARLO RIZZI:  Yeah.  See you later.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Toi, toi, toi for the, for the last act.

CARLO RIZZI:  Thank you.  Ciao, Joyce.  Bye-bye.

JOYCE DIDONATO:  Grazie, Maestro.  Grazie.

READ: DiDonato Intro to Part II

JOYCE DIDONATO:  When the next act begins, a dark storm rages as Medea greets her two children with Giasone.  But this will not be a happy reunion.  Here now is the harrowing conclusion of the myth of Medea, a sorceress who should never have been crossed.