I was probably one of just a few people at the performance at the San Francisco Opera of Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac who had seen the opera before. In London Roxane was sung by Sondra Radvanovsky, and this time it was Ainhoa Arteta who was fine, but did not manage the complete vocal ease in the role that Sondra achieved. Roxane is a tough part vocally.
It was a completely different production from the one in London.
Apparently Cyrano de Bergerac (6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a real person whose life was fictionalized by Edmond Rostand. It is the fictional Cyrano that we know, the one whose nose is considered not merely large but ugly, even grotesque. Will it spoil the story if I say the real Cyrano was apparently a homosexual? This cannot possibly be relevant.
What is relevant? I liked Placido Domingo much more this time around. The opera is very romantic and Domingo successfully portrayed Cyrano's passion for Roxane. He sang well, moved well and found the necessary emotions when he needed them. It was all very beautiful. Alfano gets a bad rap.
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