While I was in Ohio for Thanksgiving, I watched the first half of the Met version of Puccini's Manon Lescaut on television. I had missed the HD simulcast when it played in theaters last year. Unfortunately for them, this opera is also my favorite recording of Luciano Pavarotti and Mirela Freni. Karita Matilla and Marcello Giordani simply did not hold up by comparison. The Metropolitan Opera production was boring. Matilla punched her high notes in a style that might be fine for Salome but is all wrong for Puccini.
The one redeeming feature is the interview by Renée Fleming, the one where she gets Karita to perform the splits. Amazingly silly!
We switched to watching kiddie cartoons. There were kiddies.
If you want to own a Manon Lescaut, choose this one.
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