It was the Walküre simulcast that was delayed so long because of computer signals. I was in the theater for that one, waiting for it to start.

In years past, it took me a long time to come around to Aida. I mean, I could hear the appeal of the big moments, but it didn't add up as a whole for me. What helped me was thinking of it as Verdi's "condensation" of the grand-opera genre -- the big voices set in conflicting relationships, the ballet, the spectacle and atmosphere -- but reduced to its essence, with little of the private lives of the characters. I could imagine a production stylized in a "monumental" way, with the characters' personal drama playing out against a hostile, uncaring environment.

A couple of rarities are coming up soon: Berlioz's huge grand opera Les Troyens, the fall of Troy followed by the Dido & Aeneas story, with Susan Graham as Dido. And Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, in its first Met production (yet to premiere), with Joyce DiDonato as Mary Queen of Scots.