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Subject: Re: Met “Tosca� Last Night
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Mon, 1 Jan 2018 21:15:11 -0500

text/plain (55 lines)

I thoroughly enjoyed the prima of Tosca last night.  I adore Puccini's score so much that I 
rarely tire of hearing it and it has to be a pretty terrible performance for me to want to 
switch it off.  While last night's was not one for the record books, it never came close to 
being less than entertaining and sometimes, thrilling - at times it was the hottest thing in 
my home (where it was about -10 below zero during the broadcast).  

There were definitely coordination issues between pit and stage, but I've noticed a similar 
thing on many opening nights, particularly New Year's Eve galas.  Things should tighten up 
nicely during the run, but we won't read about those reviews because, unlike Broadway 
there are no "previews" and opening night is generally the only review an opera gets - and 
its often, at least in my experience, the weakest performance in a run.  

In Act 1 Ms. Yoncheva proved not to be a natural Tosca.  Things turned in Act 2, and I 
found myself surprised at the depth of her dramatic conviction, convincing me of Floria's 
plight.  She acts well with the voice, so perhaps we were fortunate not to have seen her 
"forced" stage demeanor.  

Speaking of "forced," Mr. Grigolo was doing a lot of this throughout the performance, 
starting right at the beginning - and I did not care for the sound.  THEN, he seemed to 
forget how small his voice is, relaxed and sounded like a different tenor entirely - this was 
particularly notable during the big Act 1 duet with Ms. Yoncheva where both singers 
sounded youthful and exciting.  As soon as she exited, so did his ease of production.  I 
didn't HATE "E lucevan la stelle" but I didn't think it was ovation worthy and I feared 
(feared, I tells ya) that for the gala performance they'd take a BIS.  My fears were, 
thankfully, unnecessary.  

Mr. Lucic was clearly the senior singer and it showed, and he gave a Scarpia I found better 
than I had anticipated from him.

I liked what Maestro Villaume was doing with the score, pacing things sometimes differently 
than we're used to and highlighting the dramatic effects of certain moments but, as has 
been noted, there were at times were coordination issues.  I look forward to hearing these 
fixed and the results they'll likely produce.  

I had been a fan of Mr. Bondy's production, which in Germany, once it was tweaked was an 
established success as much for the show as for its dream cast of Harteros and Kaufmann.  

As to those wondering why Ms. Netrebko didn't participate, she was never part of the 
original plan in this run and is currently finishing a run of Andrea Chenier at La Scala, then 
on to Manon Lescaut in Moscow.  I, for one, am glad to to have heard her Tosca last night.


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