When opera was a much younger art form, star singers could choose which arias they wanted to sing, often swap­ping in favorite num­bers that showed off their voices to best advan­tage for what­ever the lowly com­posers and libret­tists had orig­i­nally written.

Now audi­ences at the Met­ro­pol­itan Opera will have an oppor­tu­nity to see this ven­er­able tra­di­tion of authentic inau­then­ticity res­ur­rected on Wednesday, when the com­pany revives its pop­ular pro­duc­tion of “The Enchanted Island.” The revival fea­tures a pair of sub­sti­tute arias tai­lored to its star singers, Plá­cido Domingo and Susan Graham.

The Enchanted Island” was designed to sub­vert modern ideas about the pri­macy of com­posers’ inten­tions. It is a pas­tiche, or pas­ticcio: another tra­di­tion brought back from those ear­lier days, when it was common to stitch together arias and cho­ruses and scenes from a variety of com­posers and adapt them to new or heavily revised librettos.

Read the article at The New York Times →