Sunday, April 15, 2018

Luisa Miller in HD


Conductor...............Betrand de Billy
Production..............Elijah Moshinsky

Luisa...................Sonya Yoncheva, soprano
Rodolfo...............Piotr Beczala, tenor
Miller..................Plácido Domingo, baritone
Count Walter.......Alexander Vinogradov, bass
Wurm..................Dmitry Belosselskiy, bass
Federica..............Olesya Petrova, contralto  


Yesterday the Metropolitan Opera presented Verdi's Luisa Miller in HD.  I liked it better this time than I did in 2015 in San Francisco.  This is a very fine cast, but perhaps it is Placido Domingo, a man born to musical theater, who makes the difference.  In the other staging everyone seemed like a bad guy, but here we are clear that Miller deeply cares about his daughter and will give up everything for her.  Rodolfo on the other hand thinks only of himself and commits a murder/suicide, something we generally hear about from the newspaper.  His excuse is only a tiny bit better than Otello's.

All over the internet are people wondering why Placido keeps singing.  His scenes with Yoncheva were by far the most spectacularly beautiful of anything seen here today.  He definitely still has it, and this performance is one of his better outings as a baritone.

Plot--young nobleman goes wandering around the countryside in disguise looking for girls, very much like the Duke in Rigoletto or the King in La Donna del Lago.  He knows that makes him a shit, but does it anyway.  It turns out badly for everyone.  It was like a magic trick, but this cast made it work.

2 comments:

Paul said...

This is the one opera I simply MUST see again Wednesday evening for the replay. Alongside "Ballo," my favorite non-mainstream Verdi opera. As a bass, I'm obviously a fan of the bass/bass duet. I thought, except for Domingo, the singing was quite excellent throughout. The fact he bailed out TWICE on verses in his first act cabaletta was lame. Yes, he has good stage presence and interacted well with Yoncheva, but he needs to give real baritones a chance to get their careers moving.

Dr.B said...

I noticed in the bows that there appeared to be 3 different prompter boxes. Curious.