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Subject: Feb 9 CARMEN
From: James Van Sant <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 9 Feb 2010 22:18:35 -0700
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I stayed home from the ballet tonight because it is so damned
snowy and cold and I did not want to scramble for a parking place,
but also to listen to the Sirius broadcast of Borodina's Carmen.
I am so glad I did!
      It was wonderful to hear her again in this role - or in anything.
The lovely tonal quality is intact, fine-grained, warm and smooth;
her command of legato was elegant, and she had the colors. It was
all well-experienced and accomplished - unusual today. She was a bit
careful with the top...but it all flowed. She has been and still is such
a great singer -- and that tone!  I am so pleased to have heard her
again.  I found her the only accomplished singer of the evening.
      So tonight for me was about Olga of the Volga -- it was La  
Borodina's
show, then there was everyone else, more or less at second-class level,
and rungs below Borodina.  TTRhodes and Jovanavich clearly have
vocal issues, and sing without ease or much technical accomplishment;
poor Brandon sounded like he was really struggling at times -- those
ragged, aspirated releases -- it's from pushing the voice.  He needs to
get his voice better lined up and more reliably on the breath or he's
going to be a comprimario one of these days; I also hear he is getting
stout, a very bad sign.   Maya K. the Micaela, was about at Jennifer
Black level -- tho' perhaps more tremulous and unsteady of tone. I
thought her very pallid and monochromatic. Whatever you thought of
Frittoli, she was the real thing -- if a bit old; these new ones have a
long way to go.  It is hard, however, for anyone to make Micaela
appealing.
       The conductor had some moments, but he let the singers rule
his tempos in the arias and take over their shape -- for Olga, I would
do it! :)  Over all, I thought his conducting lacked pace and tension.
The earlier guy from Canada created a lot more vitality and
excitement.
        Just another Carmen, save for Borodina -- and she wont be
around too much longer. TTRhodes would make a wonderful
door man at some elegant resort hotel!
###

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