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Subject: Los Angeles MACBETH (James Conlon, wow!)
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 6 Aug 2017 18:42:42 -0400

text/plain (49 lines)

After reading Donald Kane's positive reaction to Domingo's Macbeth I
regretted that I missed the broadcast yesterday as it is one of my favorite
Verdis though I'm not enthusiastic about Domingo's "baritone" career. As
luck would have it, I found that WWFM (a wonderful NJ classical station)
had it on program today.

I don't believe I'm exaggerating in saying that this was probably the best
conducted MACBETH I've ever heard. I've seen and heard a great many MACBETH
productions, many conducted superbly, but Conlon elevated it into the most
magisterial reading to my ears. With his baton he painted the musical
canvas of this great score with the darkest and most dramatic brushes and
yet not missing on the melodic fluidity of early Verdi in some passages.
For the first time I've heard how much every single orchestral section
*and* every single instrument was crucial in different parts of the score,
painting the gamut of emotions, from most intense to deceptively languid.
And what Conlon brought out of the chorus is hard to describe with words.
The ending of the first and last acts have to be heard for some of the most
rousing and electrifying choral music.

Briefly about the excellent cast. I agree with Donald about Domingo's
Macbeth and, to my surprise, found him quite convincing. I felt as if he
compensated for the lack of baritonal timbre with effective vocal acting
and often successful darkening his (basically tenor) voice that allowed him
to reach to the darkest depths of his character. With her large mezzo sound
and the characterization on a somewhat wild side, Semenchuk delivered a
truly spine-chilling Lady M. I loved D'Archangelo's Banquo who
magnificently rendered one of my favorite bass arias as did Chacon-Cruz
stylistically excel in Macduff's piece.

Bravi tutti!

I don't recall any of our West Coast listers reporting about this
production when it was performed in LA... hope someone had a chance to
attend what must have been a truly thrilling occasion.

Best to all, Vesna

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