Thursday, March 03, 2011


As you may or may not have heard elsewhere, soprano Angela Gheorghiu is out for the entire Met run of Romeo & Juliette (beginning tonight). Though her replacement Hei-Kyung Hong shone this season as Micaela, the switch isn't increasing the likelihood I make even the non-Domingo evening.

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If you're wondering how Natalie Dessay did in the Lucia after the revival's season premiere: noticeably better. More air in the high notes and a firmer core to the sound, though the additional surface vibrato isn't going to disappear. It won't convince those who didn't like Dessay in the first place, but Monday she had enough vocal freedom to provide the Mad Scene its essential contrast, this time floating the cadenza's delicious reprise of the Act I love duet. She seemed to be more confidently focused for the rest, as well.

The second listen has me more appreciating conductor Patrick Summers' essential contribution to this show's success. There's no nonsense and no great attempt to make the numbers opera what it's not: just life and rhythmic joy in every selection. I can't overemphasize to what excellent spirits these Lucias are bringing the audience. (Calleja is a huge factor, of course.)


  1. What's the story with the glass harmonica. Is it back in the picture? I loved it last few times.


  2. Nope, the armonica seems to be gone for good. Not sure what the story is -- the fact that it got pulled from the revival's first night with a program slip (the player was credited in the original printed program) is odd. Was it illness, Dessay's choice, or...?


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.