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Subject: Giordani double bill/ONEGIN
From: JOHN DEREDITA <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 24 Nov 2008 08:37:44 -0800

text/plain (28 lines)

Laurie and I were fortunate to attend DAMNATION DE FAUST in house on Saturday.  I liked the production better than Laurie did, but she warmed up to the second act with the ardent flames, horseback ride to hell, and Susan Graham's ladder to heaven.  James Levine made a stunningly good case for this "opera," reputed to be one of his favorite scores.  The OPERA NEWS writer from a few months back who said he likes DAMNATION better than Berlioz's operas may be onto something.  And Robert Lepage's québecois production team is technologically and (often) dramatically adept.
Graham voiced Marguerite beautifully and portrayed her character's rise to sensuality convincingly.  John Relyea was a great Méphisto vocally and dramatically with a costume that I liked better than the TIMES' Tommasini did.  Perhaps the brightest star was Marcello Giordani, with pure, even tone throughout Faust's wide pitch range.  I told him in his dressing room that this is one of his best roles.  He said it's one of the most difficult.

And Giordani told us that he was singing Pinkerton that very night!  The bedrock-reliable Giordani of fall 2007 stepping in again to replace an absent or ailing colleague (as he did last Wednesday in BUTTERFLY after the Tuesday 18 November DAMNATION).  Last night was the (highly successful) premiere of Connecticut Lyric Opera's  EUGENE ONEGIN, so I didn't see my opera-l digests until this morning.  Scanning them, I did not notice anyone's review of the Saturday night BUTTERFLY but would appreciate hearing how Giordani did after the heroic Faust.  The TIMES noted the double bill today but did not review it.
I encourage anyone in the area to hear one of the other ONEGIN performances Friday 28 November or Sunday 7 December, both at Trinity-on-Main Performance Center, New Britain.  Write me for details if you didn't see my posting last week.
Happy Thanksgiving to American listers,

John Deredita 
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