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Subject: Re: Terrific Trovatore Prima at the Met
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:14:18 -0700
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I listened to about two thirds of the Trovatore last night.

I tuned in at the beginning of Act 2, Sc 2 so I heard Il balen through the
rest of the opera.  First of all, I was greatly impressed with Quinn
Kelsey.  I have been since I first heard him in Chicago a few years ago.
There are not a handful of Verdi baritones out there today, at least that I
have heard who is of his caliber.  At least as I heard it over the
airwaves,  there is a slightly opaque quality to the voice, but that's a
minor quibble.  There is not another baritone on the Met roster who is
better.

I've known Yonghoon Lee for ten years or more and have watched his career
develop from the Giulio Gari Foundation awards to where he is now.  Again,
you can't get much better today as Manrico.  The Ah si ben mio was
particularly well done.

I liked Jennifer Rowley.  There were some pitch problems and she got a bit
wayward in some places, but again, a good showing.  As I was listening I
felt I could hear a great similarity between her and Gabriella Tucci.  The
voice reminded me of Tucci with the same vibrato almost bordering on a
flutter - not in a bad way - about the same weight of voice and similar
tonal quality.  I don't know much about her but I suspect, like Tucci,
Leonora might be about as heavy as she should go.  I always thought Tucci
shortened her career with the Aida's, Amelia's and Forza Leonora's.  Tucci
was glorious in the lyrico roles and early on sang beautifully as Mimi,
Butterly, Maria (Boccanegra), Marguerite, etc and even Aida early but they
eventually took their toll.

 Anita Rashvelishvili was magnificent.  She will be the successor to the
great Zajick.  I have heard her as Carmen and Amneris and can't wait for
each new role she added in America.  For the rest, it was a good
performance with the experienced Marco Armiliato in the pit.

Donald 😁

On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 9:01 PM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Although my transmission kept going in and out during the first half
> (mostly the first
> quarter) the prima of Trovatore was pretty smoking hot tonight!  Yonghoon
> Lee made an
> exciting Manrico, with some beautiful shading and plenty of pop and ping
> in his sound, for
> "Di Quella Pira" but earlier on, gave a ravishing account of "Ah si, ben
> mio" (or as we used
> to say "I see Ben Mee-Oh")  with a decent trill the first time while the
> second one was more
> hinted at.  Still . . . lovely.
>
> Jennifer Rowley was frequently lovely sounding - a few squally moments up
> at the top, but
> only in quicker passages.  Her big arias and scenes came across strongly,
> and her
> involvement in the final scene reminded me of how much I enjoyed her in
> last season's
> "Cyrano" for that same reason.
>
> Quinn Kelsey was superb as Di Luna, "Il Balen" - or the 2/3rds of it I
> heard - was gorgeous.
>
> For me, the most exciting singing came from Anita Rachvelishvili as
> Azucena - even though
> I missed half of "Stride la vampa."  She poured out a delicious lunacy all
> night that was
> pitiable, terrifying and gloriously vocalized.
>
> Marco Armiliato led the Met forces in a propulsive, "take no prisoners"
> account that kept
> both the action and my blood pumping a mile a minute, slowing it down for
> those moments
> of beauty, but then hopping back on the horse intensifying everything in
> an old-fashioned
> "rip roarin'" fashion that had me cheering at the end.  I know . . . how
> gauche - what with
> me in pajamas and eating spaghetti and butter and all.  So sue me.
>
> Really, this was a terrific "night at the opera."
>
> p.
>
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