Saturday, May 21, 2022

Lucia in HD


Conductor:  Riccardo Frizza
Director:  Simon Stone

Enrico Ashton, Lucia's brother:  Artur Ruciński (baritone)
Lucia Ashton:  Nadine Sierra (coloratura soprano)
Riamondo Bidebent, Lucia's tutor:  Christian Van Horn (bass)
Edgardo, Lucia's fiance:  Javier Camarena (tenor)

Host:  Anthony Roth Costanzo

The HD from the Met today was Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in a new production by Simon Stone. It turns out I've already seen two productions by him:  Korngold's Die Tote Stadt from the Bayerische Staatsoper and Saariaho's Innocence from Aix en Provence.  He likes a lot of detail.  Today there was rather an astounding amount of detail, which, surprisingly, seemed to match the libretto.  He likes a small rotating set.  This one represented a small American town with a pawn shop, a church, etc.  There were two cars:  an orange Pinto and a pick up truck. The prop master was interviewed and said there might be about 1000 props.  The presence of cell phones, used rather frequently, places us in a narrow time period.  Thus the confusion when a drive in film of Bob Hope appeared.

It worked for me.  Lucia's brother was a drunk and a drug fiend whose budget is deeply in dept,  thus explaining his need for his sister to marry Arturo instead of Edgardo, the man she loves.

The singing was magnificent.  Nadine has a gorgeous voice, and Javier is one of the best lyric tenors around.  I've seen Ruciński before only in the La Boheme in outer space.  And Christian Van Horn is always wonderful.  The mad scene is often orchestrated for flute, but we were treated to the wonderful glass harmonica.  It seems the ideal sound to portray madness.

The combination of beautiful singing, great acting, and lots of dramatic detail,made this a wonderful performance for me.  And I need to report that the sound in the theater was much better today.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

My Singers

This is interesting.  

name  year born year I met their age when met
Cecilia Bartoli 1966 1993 27
Anna Netrebko 1971 1995 24
Dmitri Hvorostovsky 1962 1996 34
Jonas Kaufmann 1969 2007 38
Lise Davidsen 1987 2017 30

These are my singers.  It shows when they were born, when I noticed them and the age they were when this happened.  

I first saw Cecilia Bartoli on TV.  I have flown the most number of times to see Cecilia.  My favorite performances are:

La Cenerentola in Zurich long ago
Le Nozze di Figaro from the Met
L'Italiana in Algeri from Salzburg   And many more.

Anna did Ruslan and Luidmila at the San Francisco Opera and has been going strong ever since.  For me it is a terrible tragedy that the Met kicked her out.  My favorite performances are:

I saw Dmitri in San Francisco and on streams from the Met.  He was still at the peak of his career when he died.

Eugene Onegin from the Met with Renee Fleming
Il Trovatore from the Met with Anna Netrebko

I first saw Jonas in a performance of Fidelio in Zurich on one of my trips to see Cecilia.

Fidelio in Zurich
Werther in Paris
Lohengrin in Munich

Everything he sings is first class, so the list would need to be longer.  Search label AandJ.

Lise is the newest addition to my list, and she is only young when you compare her to Dmitri and Jonas.

Die Walküre Act I from Munich was the one I got most excited over.