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From: David H Spence <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David H Spence <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 26 Mar 2017 23:48:42 -0400

text/plain (61 lines)

Much of the Idomeneo on Tuesday night, I agree with Camner, seemed very low
on energy, except for the quartet in Act Three, Polenzani's opening
recitative and aria, to help relieve the monotony of having three female
voices on stage all a little too similar to each other to fully be able to
tell apart, and occasional orchestral ritornelli here and there.  Tempi for
Act Three, including for some beautiful arioso, sung well, for the title
role, became painfully slow. 

Though 'D'Oreste, d'Ajace' from van den Heever was passable - she got
through it - I thought back to Hildegard Behrens and what objections I might
have had to her singing of Elettra before.  Should you want 'demented and
unhinged' but with a voice, this is where to look.  If instead you settle
for 'demented and unhinged' without much of any voice and with conducting to
have to follow the singer, fuss over the orchestra not covering the singer
up, van den Heever suffices.  For my purposes, though, one is left then with
little more than a contrivance.  

I so badly wanted to see Idomeneo from the Met this season, but with one to
include some shape to it, some vocal color and expression, something to
sustain it to be of both real and palpable musical and dramatic interest. 
Sierra's intonation in 'Zeffiretti lusinghieri' - her voice was too bright
for this part? - grew sour before all was said and done.  If anything, her
voice sounded unnaturally dark to me for the part.  

'James Levine gave it his all but he struggled mightily.'  Levine's all must
now be much less than it had been at one time.  This statement reads more as
something ominous than as anything to excite any pleasurable expectations. 
With the enormous contribution Levine has made to the Met over so many
years, it genuinely saddens me to be reading this.  I do not harbor Mr.
Levine any ill will.  I would hope that the Indian summer he has enjoyed as
of late would continue indefinitely.  Even with our prayers, wishing however
does or can not make it so.  

Prospects for the new production of Cosi Fan Tutte do not look promising
next season. Is there any chance we can hope for the prospect of dvd release
of the Cosi Fan Tutte that was a major highlight of the 2013-14 season?  It
also featured Matthew Polenzani at his winsome and mellifluous very best as
Ferrando.  Levine, with a thoroughly good cast, was also in top form.  The
Clemenza di Tito the previous season, though not conducted by Levine, also
ranks among the best experiences I've had with Met Live in HD and deserves
dvd release as well.

I fear that if Mozart, as taken over by the 'Synths', is the new normal, a
new Robert Wilson or Lars van Trier production of this, even at the Met, can
not be far off.   Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

David Spence

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