Giorgetta, Michele's wife-Patricia Racette
It's hard to like this opera. It's rough and nasty. Since their child died, Giorgetta has grown tired of her husband and their life on a barge and flirts with his employees, including the incredibly handsome Brandon Jovanovich. In this opera Patricia Racette is overdressed for her environment. However, they are in Paris, Giorgetta's native city, so we will cut her some slack. There is much wonderful singing from our three stars.
Patricia Racette-Sister Angelica
Meredith Arwady-The Abbess
Ewa Podleś-The Princess
I realized watching Suor Angelica that I could not be a nun. Obedience isn't something I do. I guess that leaves out the army, too. My mother knew exactly how to deal with this.
This opera is deep with religious significance. Angelica has had an illegitimate child, it was immediately taken from her, and she was forced into a convent. She has been here for 7 years with no news from her family.
Then suddenly out of the blue a high class carriage carrying her aunt appears. The aunt is here not to see Angelica, but to get her signature on a document that disposes of the family wealth and titles. Angelica has to ask to find out that her son has died. These two together are wonderful singing actresses who thrill us and break our hearts.
Angelica knows about herbs and plants. In short she knows how to poison herself and does. She realizes perhaps before it is too late that she has committed a mortal sin, and begs the Madonna to forgive her.
Only Patricia Racette and Ewa Podleś came out for bows. They were both magnificent, towering performances. This was Ewa's San Francisco Opera debut.
Michael Harvey-Buoso Donati
Paolo Gavanelli-Gianni Schicchi
Someone smokes in all three operas, but in this one they all do, are in a hospital room. It is amusing that Buoso Donati gets a casting credit since he's already dead. It would be strange to play a dead body.
The house that Gianni Schicchi acquires is apparently in a high rise next door to the Duomo in Florence. There is, of course, no building in Florence anything like that.
Magnificent in the dual roles of Michele in Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi was Paolo Gavanelli. He was both very funny and terrifying (in the appropriate places--not very funny as Michele and terrifying as Schicchi).
This is Patricia Racette's masterpiece where she triumphs in three different roles. Hers was by far the silliest "O mio babbino caro" I've ever heard. Her Lauretta is virtually a child.
I loved seeing it again. Original review here from 2009.