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Subject: Re: "Tell" comments
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Wed, 19 Oct 2016 19:16:25 -0400
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David Kubiak wrote:

"Interesting that apart from one comment on Hymel's C's, I have not read a
single word about the singing in this production.  If not here, where?  I
think people only feed into Gelb's noxious design ideas by fixating on them."

Actually, there have been several comments on the singing, including from me.  But if you 
want more specifics, here you go.  (Note that these are based on listening to Sirius, but 
comments from those who were in-house last night makes me think my impressions are 
accurate).

Gerald Finley - He made quite an impact in a role that, for all its centrality, does not have 
any big spectacular moments, unlike the tenor and the soprano.  (Tell's one aria, "Sois 
immobile," is vocally rather low key.)  In order to dominate the drama as he should, the 
baritone singing Tell must sing with unflaggingly rich, beautiful tone but with great dramatic 
intensity.  Finley succeeded on both counts.  He is one of the finest baritones before the 
public today: a beautiful voice and an interesting singer.  I believed completely in Finley's 
Tell from his first utterance.  His "Sois immobile" was very moving, sung at just the right 
vocal and dramatic pitch, and his "Anatheme a Gesler!" which launches the Act III finale 
was sensational.

Bryan Hymel - As I noted in my previous post, this was a spectacular performance.  The 
role of Arnold is undoubtably one of the reasons "Tell" is not performed more often.  The 
part is in a cruelly high tessitura throughout - many high Cs - and, like Aeneas in "Les 
Troyens" (another Hymel specialty), requires a combination of lyric flexibility/lightness and 
dramatic power.  Tenors who can sing the role are rare as hen's teeth.  Hymel is just such a 
rare tenor.  It was a privilege to hear him.

Marina Rebeka - Another great performance.  Beautiful sound, solid tone, and spot-on 
accuracy in the florid parts.  She was fully the equal of Caballe on the Gardelli recording; no 
higher praise than that.

The other singers, with one exception, were at a high level, particularly basses John Relyea 
as the moustache-twirling villain Gesler and Marco Spotti as Walther.  The Hedwige and 
Jemmy were very good.  The exception was Kwangchul Youn's Melcthal, which was quavery 
and unfocused.  It was a mercy the character died in Act 1.  This was a pity, as Melcthal has 
some important utterances in Act 1.

So, bravi tutti.        

MDW

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