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Subject: Tamerlano from La Scala
From: Ulrik <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ulrik <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 21 Sep 2017 02:38:37 -0400
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On 12 September a new production of Handel's Tamerlano opened in Milan, 
one of the very few forays of La Scala in the baroque repertoire. Based on 
the photos, the production looks handsome, moving the story to early 20-
th century Russia, and the reviews were generally good (at least the ones I 
read in Bachtrack and FT).

The opening night was streamed live by RAI3. I listened. I found it a bit 
difficult to distinguish between the countertenors (my mistake, I am sure) - 
and I think the visuals were much missed also. But it sounded as if 
everybody were involved and singing very well (I will get to Domingo in a 
moment). Personally, I would prefer to have missed one of two of the very 
highest, undoubtedly interpolated, high notes from the Asteria (who sang 
quite beautifully but these short high notes did not - in my view - fit in the 
whole).

Domingo sang his first tenor part since 2014. The first aria, quite a 
dramatic piece with demanding jumps etc., was (and I say this as a fan) 
horrible. He sounded hoarse and croaking and as if he was struggling 
mightily to just get through the aria. I expected boos and an 
announcement that he was ill and would not sing the rest of the 
performance (and of the show) - I remember his struggles when in 2001 
he returned to Otello, also at La Scala, and only sang a few performances 
(the opening, however, back then was quite good, I thought, apart from a 
missed high note here and there - and the video is a compelling document).

But people applauded - I even think I heard a bravo here or there. Maybe 
Domingo just had something in his throat - or he was not warmed up 
properly. Because when he came back to sing his second aria, it was like a 
different singer. The tone was good, no croaking, he did not sound as if he 
could fall over every moment. And so it continued. Of course, there is no 
denying that the coloratura (and, strangely, some of the lowest notes) are 
a struggle. As expected he had his best moment in the death scene (as one 
reviewer wrote, it was worth the price of admission by itself).

Well, hear for yourself - some kind soul has put it all up on youtube in one 
file per act.

Kind regards

Ulrik

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