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Subject: Re: "Tell" comments
From: Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:46:13 +0000
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18 high C's and about 5 C sharps.

Miguel

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Max D. Winter
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "Tell" comments

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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