I am surprised to see people on the list shocked at the lack of theaters available for the Met broadcasts. Do people think that movie theaters are going to give up a prime theater on a Saturday for an opera broadcast?
The audience for opera is limited and many people have absolutely no interest in it. On top of that true opera lovers might prefer the live experience or might buy a CD instead. I know that I for one would not be interested in seeing an opera in a movie theater. While Gelb might have many good ideas and the Metropolitian Opera certainly needed a change this is one idea that I think will not work and will soon be abandoned. Now to add the problems these theaters seem to be outside of the major cities which means you need a car to get there and it becomes much more of an effort than if it were at the theater down the street. So that means that many elderly people who might have gone if it were in the city will not go if they need a car and don't have one. The theaters know that they can fill their seats with big blockbuster movies which many people want to see. I recently saw Queen and Volver and was shocked at how few people were at both. Granted it was during the week and in
the afternoon but still those are probably two of the best movies showing now and they were far from full in the center of New York City. Look at the top ten movies of the last few weeks and you won't see Volver or Queen but Borat. That tells you everything.
Last night's Barbiere was the best so far of the three performances. The audience was the most responsive and the singers were all in much better voice than in the first two. Damrau added more ornaments and was in much better voice than for the first two and Mattei was better too with a riveting Largo. Florez was about the same as in the premiere but better than in the second performance. He was very good in all three and of course has the most experience with the role. Ramey was also better than in the first two. I am shocked to see that the Met lets people into the house once the music has started. The balance was better too in the ensembles. Of course it would be too much to ask for the audience to wait with the applause before the music is over. Many felt it necessary to applaud halfway through Una voce poco fa. I especially like the combination Damrau/Florez and find these voices blend well together. Both have high lyric voices of similar size and amazing upper extension
s and make a creditable couple. She unlike Netrebko has the right balance for roles like Rosina and Norina. She has the charm and spirit but not the unpleasant shrewishness that Netrebko make Norina to be.
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