Monday, January 28, 2013

The week in NY opera (January 28-February 3)

Metropolitan Opera
Rigoletto (M/Th), Comte Ory (T/SM), Elisir (W/SE)
The new Rigoletto offers an interesting choice: this first cast with a very good Duke (Piotr Beczala) and temperamentally miscast though vocally impressive Rig&Gilda (Zeljko Lucic too inclined to slip into his characteristic lyric mild-manneredness, Diana Damrau too clever and insufficiently wise), or the spring cast with a dead-on baritone and soprano (George Gagnidze and Lisette Oropesa) and a dicey tenor (the previously-unimpressive Vittorio Grigolo). If Friday's dress rehearsal was any indication, the (mostly!) refreshing maximalism of the new production will sort of distract from Lucic's lack of a cruel streak, while its constraints will force Damrau to abandon the schemer of her previous appearances and play... well, maybe not Gilda proper, but at least Mary Katherine Gallagher playing Gilda, which is in fact an improvement.
Personally I might skip the Met for the next few weeks... although Erwin Schrott (though less humane than the original Dulcamara here, Maestri) is an incredible comedian when properly called to it.

Alice Tully Hall
Kirchschlager/Bostridge duo recital (Sunday 5pm)
Julius Drake accompanies for this all-Wolf program (from the Spanisches Liederbuch).

Carnegie Hall
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (Sunday 2pm)
As do-gooding I find Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan project a non-sequitur at best (though he does have the wisdom to work within his field), and he's never been the most natural with Beethoven from the podium, but having Diana Damrau, Kate Lindsey, Piotr Beczala, and Rene Pape as the soloists for Beethoven's Ninth makes up for much.

1 comment:

  1. Lisette Oropesa is too light a voice to effectively sing Gilda. As far a Damrau is concerned, I don't know what your statement means but she was wonderful Monday night.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.