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Subject: Re: Met's Saturday Broadcast: "Thais"
From: DK Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:DK Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:35:31 -0500

text/plain (89 lines)

I look forward to your review of Bernheim's recital.  He sings the title
role in Gounod's Faust in Chicago this season, in what will be his US debut.

On Mon, 22 Jan 2018 13:00:20 -0700, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I heard part of it and was impressed.  Perez was very good, better than I
>expected.   For whatever reason, I'm not really a fan - yet.  Finlay for me
>was the star.  What gorgeous tone.  Yes, just like in Guillaume Tell last
>season.  Borras is one of the better newish French tenors.  Friday I heard
>Benjamin Bernheim's debut recital from Le Grand Theatre de Bordeaux and
>that was superb.  I will post on that soon.
>On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
>> I’m a bit surprised the Met’s Saturday Matinee broadcast performance of
>> Thais this past Saturday of the November 11th Sirius broadcast generated
>> not a single post.  In fact, the entire run of Thais this season went
>> nearly un
>> unnoticed on the list, producing only 3 or 4 posts.
>> Although I listened to this performance when it was aired live, I still
>> couldn’t resist spending my Saturday with Massenet’s glorious score in wh
>> what was a pretty terrific performance.
>> Ailyn Perez had a great success in her role debut with a sensual feel and a
>> mostly easy top.  I’m sure she’s still finding her way regarding pacing,
>> but
>> at the prima while she landed on the big D’s in the final duet, they were
>> not as easy and quickly let go of as opposed to using a more elastic
>> approach . . .  lingering just a tad longer to bend the line into a
>> frisson of
>> excitement.  A minor quibble, particularly of someone who seems to have
>> every other aspect of the role rather nicely in place.
>> Gerald Finley offered absolutely gorgeous tone, maybe the most sensual so
>> sounding Athanael in my experience.  From the opening scene with the Ce
>> Cenobites he made believable both the pious religious leader and a man po
>> possessed and obsessed by the unattainable.  Each of the duets with his fe
>> femme fatale were terrific.
>> Luxury casting came in the form of French tenor, Jean-Francois Borras
>> (whose pinch hitting for Kaufmann in “Werther” several seasons ago was an
>> an unexpected season highlight) taking on Nicias thus elevating a fairly mi
>> minor (if crucial) role, fleshing him out a substantial character he
>> should be
>> be.  Even the little duet between Thais and Nicias came across as less
>> arch or
>> or fake than it sometimes does, with a touch of sentimentality that seemed
>> ge
>> genuine.
>> Maestro Villaume knew exactly which direction to take Massenet’s
>> Alexandrian adventure,  and it was about as romantic and strong a case for
>> Thais as can be presented today.  Wisely, he built the work up from the
>> hushed religious opening to the sparkling portrait of Alexandria that, for
>> me, contains some of Massenets most memorably infectious music.  While
>> I’ve known this opera since my early teens, perhaps it is
>> because “Meditation” is one of my earliest musical memories (from Church,
>> of all places) the entrance of the wordless chorus remains, for me, one of
>> operas most unexpected “surprises” – every single time.
>> On FB I announced I was ready to be called a heathen for it, but that I
>> will
>> take Thais over Manon any day of the week.  I was pleasantly surprised to
>> learn I wasn’t as alone as I thought!
>> I hope others got to enjoy this broadcast, as much as I did.
>> p.

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