An excellent write up of this event appears here. Apparently a lot of people appeared on the 5 hour plus program who were not included in the television broadcast. These included:
Roberto Alagna, Stephanie Blythe, Dwayne Croft, Denyce Graves, Salvatore Licitra, Samuel Ramey, Ruth Ann Swenson and Dolora Zajick.
Sieglinde offers this list of people not on the program at all: June Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Hildegard Behrens, Barbara Bonney, Jane Eaglen, Angela Gheorghiu, Hei-Kyung Hong, Jennifer Larmore, Catherine Malfitano, Susanne Mentzer, Aprile Millo, Heidi Grant Murphy, Jessye Norman, Sondra Radvanovsky, Diana Soviero, Cheryl Studer, Sharon Sweet, Dawn Upshaw, Carol Vaness, Veronica Villarroel, Anne Sophie Von Otter.
I would add to that list Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. Deborah Voigt only appeared in her comic persona and not in what we all wanted to hear, how is her voice doing now that she's lost all that weight? In the live program she sang Sieglinde's aria. I would have preferred that they skip Ramon Vargas. I wonder who made the cuts?
I liked very much Juan Diego Florez' selection from Semiramide, the touchstone opera for his Fach, which he takes very seriously. He is aiming for the stars.
René Pape's aria from Don Carlo was the highlight of the evening for me. I don't think I have heard him in Verdi before, and he was excellent both vocally and emotionally.
Ben Heppner does a first-rate prize song. One begins to love this aria, Wagner's own personal trial song, written with loving care in the AAB form of the true Meistersingerlied.
The orchestra played the Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, something I have recently purchased on a dvd for 300 years of St. Petersberg (Anna and Dmitri are both on it.) All I can say is that they do it better in Russia.
Noteworthy is what is currently going on with the repertoire of Renée Fleming. In a recent broadcast she sang "Visi d'arte" from Tosca, and here she does an aria from Il Trovatore. Previously her Verdi was limited to Otello. Renée is finally taking the plunge into the heavier Romantic mainstream.
We have proof of an American with no French language difficulties: Frederica von Stade. I adored her "Je cherche un millionaire."
Volpe is very stodgy, very much the devotee of heavy voices, all amply represented here. I will be interested to see what happens to the Met now.
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