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Subject: HGO Trovatore /Rigoletto- Met 10 December 2005
From: Alex Nathanson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alex Nathanson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 11 Dec 2005 13:31:23 -0500
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Come on, there have to be some out there who at least mildly enjoyed
Giordani's performance. He might have been a little underpowered, but there
were many good qualities about his singing. Giordani usually has excellent
bel canto phrasing, and any misappropriate rage was a result of the fact
that this is a new role for him, and he is just absorbing the intricacies of
the character. This was only his first Manrico. I don't think he sounded any
more strained than Carreras. I loved his crisp diction, his authentic
Italianate sound, and the high notes speak which for themselves. His Manrico
was IMO better than the other contenders we have such as Alagna, Licitra,
and Cura. Now don't get me wrong, I like those singers (well maybe not
Licitra) but I just prefer Giordani.

I liked Radvanovsky a lot, though I have to agree that she sounds better
live. At first, the voice does not sound that big, but she has lots of
squillo and is able to cut through even the most dense orchestrations. This
is something that is not apparent through a broadcast. Either way, she
handled Leonora's music beautifully. I did not like the baritone at all.
And, when I first heard Irina Mishura, I was offended by that very heavy
vibrato and was ready to shout "what a wobble!" But I realize that it is
very controlled. I heard her before as Dalila in central park, so I have yet
to truly hear live and I am convinced that the microphone does something to
her voice. I found Patrick Summers' conducting to be a bit slow.

About Rigoletto and Villazon's sound. The acoustics in the Met are excellent
and singers find it very comfortable for them. Thus, almost always the
comment about "not being to fill up the house" is largely unfounded.  I am
looking forward to hearing Villazon, but the sound that he produces at the
Met is very likely the same as in any other smaller house.

I remember Carlo Guelfi from last year's Otello, and when I first saw his
name, I also wondered whether or not this is the best the Met can do. I
don't want to comment before actually hearing him, but Rigoletto is a
terribly difficult role to characterize and Guelfi doesn't strike me as
being able to meet these demands. We have several great Rigolettos today
such as Mark Delavan, Carlos Alvarez, and even Dmitri Hvorostovsky, but the
best of whom IMO is Paolo Gavanelli, who is actually scheduled to do it at
the Met later in the season. If they could have just put Gavanelli in with
Villazon and Netrebko, than this could have been the Rigoletto of the
decade.


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