Saturday, October 27, 2018

La Fanciulla del West in HD

Conductor...............Marco Armiliato
Production..............Giancarlo Del Monaco

Minnie..................Eva-Maria Westbroek
Dick Johnson........Jonas Kaufmann
Jack Rance............Željko Lučić

Today was the simulcast of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West in HD from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. I have seen this production at least three times before, including here, and it works very well.  They almost seemed like real cowboys.

Due to my love of the version with Jonas Kaufmann and Nina Stemme here, I have come to love this opera very much.  To work it requires a strong spinto soprano with personality and a romantic hero tenor for her to fall in love with, and I find that we have them here in Kaufmann and Westbroek.  We saw them together in Die Walküre at the Met in 2011 where they actually seemed like brother and sister.  In Fanciulla you believe that they fall in love.

In the intermission Eva talked about how much she loves the role, and it was easy to believe it is her favorite.  The part she performed better than anyone before her was the ending.  She goes around one by one to each of her former customers and reminds them of their relationship to that date.  It was deeply touching and beautiful.  I loved it.  I cried and believed that they truly could not hurt her in this way.  It is a time in life where we are in need of unselfish love.

P.S.  I apologize for not writing much about Jonas.  I find that I prefer his DVD with Nina Stemme to this one.

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