Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Anna Bolena stream


👍🏻

Conductor.......................Marco Armiliato
Production......................David McVicar

Anna Bolena (Anne Boleyn).......Anna Netrebko
Giovanna (Jane Seymour).........Ekaterina Gubanova
Enrico (Henry VIII).............Ildar Abdrazakov
Riccardo (Lord Richard Percy)...Stephen Costello
Mark Smeaton....................Tamara Mumford
Lord Rochefort..................Keith Miller
Sir Hervey......................Eduardo Valdes

In the announcement before Donizetti's Anna Bolena began we were told that this was the first time this opera had played at the Met.  When Beverly Sills sang her three queens, it was across the plaza at City Opera.

We are not to see the happy time when Anna Bolena married Henry VIII.  Instead we come in at the point in her marriage where he has already moved on to his next wife, Jane Seymour.  In this context she as portrayed as loved by many men, but still remaining faithful to her husband.  The sets are dark and uninviting, but much love has gone into creating costumes that are true to the period of Henry VIII.  In this era of modern black business suits in virtually any opera, we are grateful.

Donizetti is the closest to Verdi of any of the Italian composers.  This could be early, or even middle Verdi.  There is much bombast.  Everyone earns a big aria.  The top three singers are all Russian, so we are treated to some magnificent Russian style singing characterized by big voices and big production.  Perhaps this is what prompts Stephen Costello to sing in this big voiced style.  It's the heaviest I remember for him.

Netrebko wished to sing this.  It is probably the intensity of emotion that attracted her.  The duet with Gubanova is especially dramatic.  Ildar makes Henry an angry asshole.  Seen from this perspective, he does seem like a megalomaniacal pervert.

Dear Anne Boleyn, Someone has written this opera for you, and now some other people have made this wonderful performance.  I think it's the best we can do for you.

What we love so unreservedly about Anna Netrebko is how completely she commits to the inner emotions of her performances.  She gives it all.  Viva.

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