Thursday, April 24, 2008

The winner

To surprisingly little fanfare, tenor Matthew Polenzani was recently named as this year's winner of the recently-created Beverly Sills award. (His predecessors: Nathan Gunn and Joyce DiDonato.) Teenage operablogger "CaroNome" describes an "awww" moment from a recent broadcast interview (which I heard, too):
After blowing me away in last years "Magic Flute", he captured my heart during a Sirius broadcast during which he was asked what opera character he was most like. To this question he replied, "I am most like Romeo because I have loved like that. Every day my love for my wife grows stronger." Or something to that effect, and he went on for a few minutes in that fashion. Margaret Juntwait hit the nail on the head when she said, "Every woman listening just went 'aaaahh.'"
Though it seems like he's been doing big parts at the Met for ages -- his David here was tirelessly beautiful -- I suppose he's only recently begun making a splash in the standard romantic leads.

Wasn't it not too long ago that people complained there were no tenors? It seems ridiculous now.


  1. Polenzani is superb. I too adore his David. His Iopas in Les Troyens a few years ago was also superb. It's nice to see him get the bigger roles. I am looking forward to Abduction next week!

  2. "His Iopas in Les Troyens a few years ago was also superb."

    Yes, that immediately came to my mind too. A short role, but in his hands so lovely.

  3. Second on the love for the Iopas there, and he was lovely last night as Belmonte. The amount of the control he has over his sustained notes, his piano singing, and his dynamics...mmmm.

  4. How was the rest of the Abduction? It may be a while before I can see it.

  5. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I hadn't seen the production before; it's bright and somewhat stylized but fairly traditional. What it does well is provide space for the characters to interact. It's a relatively young and lively cast, very charming; I appreciated that Pedrillo and Blonde were sung by young singers who have done more substantial roles elsewhere, as it gave you that feeling that the roles weren't being as lightly cast, if you know what I mean? Sigmundsson as Osmin doesn't quite have those Matti Salminen rumbling low notes, but he's funny in the role. I don't know how your German is, but the singers all take care to make the dialogue somewhat obvious; in a comic Singspiel, I don't think that's a crime.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.