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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Monday, January 18, 2010

Met HD Opera Telecasts

This new production was widely panned;
Particularly for the stark brick set instead
Of the opulence of old Rome.
Tosca was a poor role for Mattila.
She lacked the passion and the fire,
And kept her head down, looking away.
Too bad, because she has a powerful
Presence in Salome, and was full of
Gritty determination in Fidelio.

We missed Aida; that was the weekend of the
Tenafly high school reunion.
Barbara had never seen Aida, and was sorry
To miss it; so I bought her a DVD with
Pavarotti singing Radames, in San Francisco.
Aida is static, almost an oratorio; but the SF
Version was spiced up with dances, including
The perky little ballerinas in sheer tops.

Turandot is static, too, that is the characters
Simply move around a little and sing.
The star of the show was the fabulous setting
By Franco Zeffirelli, thus making a clear
Contrast with the new, and less expensive,
Settings of the old warhorses.
We miss the former, but we must get used to
Contemporary ways of looking at things.

For example, the new production of
Les Contes D'Hoffman envisions all the action
Taking place inside Hoffman's head, while
He regales the crowd at Luther's with his stories.
If you were informed of this beforehand,
You might be able to fathom the goings-on.
Otherwise, the scenes seem like a hopeless
Jumble of sets from one scene to another.
A new star arose in the role of Nicklausse
And the muse: Kate Lindsey.

Everyone and everything about
Der Rosenkavalier was superb.
All the singers have performed these roles
Over and over again.
They inhabited their characters.
The trio of the three sopranos at the climax
Was breathtaking.
One wonders what it would be like if a
Countertenor sang the role of Octavian.

Barbara and I agreed that this was the
Best performance of Carmen
That we had ever seen.
Besides displaying a remarkable voice, Garanca
Acted the part, danced the flamenco,
Wrestled with Alagna in the final scene.
Critics were unanimous in praise of them,
And all the other performers.

This ends our subscription series, but we may
See one or more of the remaining operas in
Sunday encore broadcasts.

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