Tonight bows the Metropolitan Opera's 2013-14 season in an off-trend Verdi/Britten/Wagner Tchaikovsky Onegin -- although most of the red carpet-treading celebrities won't care/don't know, so win/win for the Russian power ménage à trois of Tchaikovsky, Netrebko and Gergiev.
The Met flexes its microblogging skills with an Instagram account where live celebrity fly-fishing has hooked Dan Stevens, Mischa Barton/Heather Graham and Patrick Stewart, who's fresh from the NYCO Anna Nicole Opera. Fat over lean brings Domigno, Sondra Radvanovsky and Isabel Leonard, but now that HBIC Austin Scarlett has arrived on a cloud of black satin with groomed-to-perfection brows, everyone else can just phone it in. Track. Wall. C-YA.
In anticipation of leaflet-wielding LGBT activists (in the end, they came to the party), GM Peter Gelb defended his decision to not turn The Met into a socio-political rights circus in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws (and from the RUSALGBT twitter, a copy of the statement has been included in the opening night program). For centuries, opera has spirited subversion into roars, but silence is golden for house admin. Now, let's begin the Oneguine with Deborah Warner's coolly-aloof enchantments.