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Subject: Re: La Sonnambula, Met, 4/03
From: Vinh Nguyen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vinh Nguyen <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 5 Apr 2009 03:03:37 -0400

text/plain (67 lines)

On Sun, 5 Apr 2009 01:31:14 -0400, Jeff <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>On Sat, 4 Apr 2009 21:04:42 -0400, Cmorgan <[log in to unmask]> 
>>I guess some changes have been made to the production. There was  no 
>>blackboard in the second act for Amina to write on  -- whether it be "Aria" 
>>or "Elvino." 
>This is simply wrong.  I was in A101 and saw her write a particularly 
>elaborate "Elvino" on the board.

Yup, that was the FOURTH different iteration of that blackboard scribble
that I've seen: "ARIA" (thrice: dress and first 2 performances) "droopy
line/no word" (3rd performance), "ELVINO" (caps/print: 5th performance),
"elvino" (small cap/smooth handwriting: last 4 performances).

>> Also there was no sleepwalking scene 
>>on a "plank." That was deleted. 
>This is right, but a bit of a mystery.  Equipment malfunction, or
rethinking of 
>the scene?  A friendly usher promised to report to me next week at the 
>matinee Walkure if she could learn which.

In response to that very question at the stagedoor afterwards, Dessay
herself clarified that it was indeed an equipment malfunction, and as the
plank got stuck and wouldn't slide out, she quickly improvised the new 
location right on the edge of the stage to the right (and almost on top) 
of the prompter's box.

>There were a number of smaller changes, Banks played the role a bit 
>differently than Florez.  My impression was that he was doing things asked of 
>him that perhaps Florez would not do, but this is totally a wild guess.

Banks plays more of a country bumpkin type with big affectionate
gestures (huge hugs between the two leads, etc), whereas JDF
gave a more pompous portrayal,clearly upstaging the prima donna! :-)
One humorous touch: in the "dance rehearsal" sequence for the
cabaletta "Ah vorrei trovar parola" (to the duet/scena "Prendi l'anel 
ti dono") during the second repetition of the phrase "io lo leggo 
ne' tuoi sguar*DI*" Banks took the high C on a cute dip of Dessay
on her back against his knees (very "Dancing-with-the-stars"-like :-)).
He used different (and slightly more elaborate) ornamentations than 
JDF for the bravura cabaletta "Ah perche non posso odiarti", but
did not interpolate an explosive high D (just kept to the B-flat)
like JDF.  Still an impressive effort for his role debut (not just at
the MET but anywhere).  Pity he wasn't given more than a single
performance, and not a (SIRIUS) broadcast either.

PS: For the last in the run, Dessay went all out and tossed in
a few more ornamentations in "Ah non giunge" (tipping her hat
to "my colleague Rodolfo" [Pertusi?] who had done the same).

Vinh Nguyen

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