Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ranking the Simulcasts 2013-14

Every year at this time I rank the simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera, but this year I'm having trouble.  Let's say:

La Cenerentola with Joyce DiDonato first. 

I am putting La Cenerentola at the top of my list because of a lack of technical glitches in the broadcast. It was an ensemble performance of the very highest quality, achieving the intentions of Rossini both musically and dramatically. There was a feeling of self-confidence that included the entire cast.  Congratulations to all.

Werther comes in a close second mainly because of the pantomime at the end.

I saw the repeat which was incredible, but if your experience was of the live transmission, you would be unhappy.   It still didn't top Paris. In particular I preferred Tezier as Albert.  The guy in the soldier's outfit just seemed like a thug. Oropesa is the best Sophie, though. 

Falstaff is in third place.

I'm putting Falstaff in third place for the sheer perfection of the casting and performance.  I also very much enjoyed the production which remembered that Falstaff is upper class.

Next is Rusalka.

Those of us who have loved Renée Fleming's Rusalka over the years are grateful that this production and performance will become a memento of the occasion with a fine cast and traditional production.

Netrebko's Eugene Onegin is fifth.

I was hoping this would better.  I'd like to see her with Dmitri.

Prince Igor didn't really work for me.  The plot is simply incoherent. It can go back to being an orchestral piece.

But the rest is kind of in between, not sufficiently differentiated to be ranked.
The Nose was done as well as it could be.  I was feeling a bit jaded for ToscaLa Bohème and Cosi fan tutte.

If I slighted one of your favorites, I apologize.  

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