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Subject: I PURITANI broadcast today
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 May 2014 17:31:27 -0400

text/plain (44 lines)

I PURITANI is my favorite Bellini so apologies for the extra indulgence on 
my part. The libretto is weak, static, and at times absurd, but musically 
the opera is a masterpiece, filled with beautiful ensembles, duets and 
arias, and much richer in choruses and orchestration than many of his 
earlier operas.

Last night I listened to the 1976 Met broadcast (Sutherland, Pavarotti, 
Milnes, Morris) and it was interesting to compare it to today's broadcast. 
Morris was the most impressive to me in that earlier revival and, though 
not a bel canto stylist as Petrusi who was excellent today, the beauty of 
his vocal line is still with me. This surprised me as I know Morris mostly for 
his Wotan. Kwiecien's Riccardo was in a good voice but aggressive in his 
cavatina and elsewhere. I thought Peretyatko's Elvira was much better in 
ensembles than in solo parts today. This is the first time I heard this 
soprano and she has a very good coloratura. But it was also strange, at 
least to my ears, that her voice sounded solid and rich in the middle 
range, while  too soubrettish in the high notes. This may well be just a 
strange effect of radio transmissions.

Best for last, though. The star of today's matinee was by far Lawrence 
Brownlee. Talk about the Golden Age of bel canto tenors. It's right now, 
with Brownlee, JDF, Camarena  and what a luxury for the Met audience 
to hear them all in a single season. I'm not a singer to judge the most 
difficult role or aria, but it's evident to a listener that this has to be one of 
the most taxing roles for tenors. Whether Arturo manages every one of 
the highest notes matters less to me than the tenor's ability to be equally 
successful in lyrical passages as in those with heroic thrusts and 
declamations. And Brownlee had it all in spades (and, yes, all those Ds 
and the notorious F as well). He was even tweeting while off stage! Bravo!


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