Though The Metropolitan Opera's 2013/2014 live in HD season is filled with new productions and star-studded casts, long-time opera fans will find that the season lacks much innovation. A few revivals, such as Britten's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Strauss' "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" have not been performed on the Met stage in about 10 years, but most of the season's other operas have not seen similar absences.
The Met's tendency to recycle casts to excess leaves little to the imagination even for the new productions. Last seasons hit productions of "L'Elisir d'Amore" and "Rigoletto" return this season and Italian classics, such as "La Boheme," "I Puritani," and Luc Bondy's skeptically received production of "Tosca" make their regular rounds.
On a more exciting note, Nico Muhly's "Two Boys," commissioned jointly by The Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera, makes its Met debut this season. This modern and mysterious tale of murder ought to add a kick to the season.
Another high note to the Met's 2013/2014 season is the long-awaited return of Maestro Levine in the fall revival of "Cosi Fan Tutte." In 2014 Levine is also scheduled to conduct a revival of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck"starring Thomas Hampson and Deborah Voigt.