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Sesame Street goes to the Met (hint: it beats the Philharmonic)

Murray Monster and Ovejita do some vocalising with mezzo Isabel Leonard, and it’s absolutely charming, natural, enchanting. What’s more, you learn something. All the jerky artificiality of their last visit to the orchestra is totally blown away. Enjoy.


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  1. José Lastarria says:

    I recently read a book by a New Yorker journalist in which he explained the research and microtuning involved in producing an episode of Sesame Street. Absolutely nothing was left to chance, from the positions of the characters on the screen, the use of insets, how long a camera angle is maintained, the length of time one of them speaks etc etc. In the early days they experimented an awful lot with focus groups of children of different ages. It makes for fascinating reading; I just wish I could remember the title.

    It’s maybe this merciless preparation which makes Sesame Street so easy to watch: segments tailored to the attention spans of small children correspond eerily well to our smartphone-orientated, attention-deficient adult lives. I didn’t see the NY Phil episode but it does help to have stage performers as your subject as opposed to musicians, who very often feel far more comfortable expressing themselves through their instruments.

    A final thought: Isabel Leonard is gorgeous. Beyond wanting to shock, has anyone really ugly been chosen to appear on American TV in the last forty years? I don’t get that feeling.

  2. Petros Linardos says:

    For “charming, natural, enchanting” I would look not at the above, but at some good old ones, like Galway

    or Perlman:

  3. Emil Archambault says:

    “What kind of stories do operas tell?”
    -”Operas explain how “a tenor and a soprano want to make love and are prevented from doing so by a baritone.”
    George Bernard Shaw.

  4. John Kelly says:

    Went to Isabel’s recital at Zankel Hall a couple of weeks back. Superb artist, very exciting potential. Terrific voice.

  5. richardcarlisle says:

    Yes– SPLENDIFEROUS … and if she had had the time she could have taken Miss America no contest.

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