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Subject: Volume of voice, PBO Tosca
From: Ariane Csonka <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ariane Csonka <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 27 Jan 2018 18:02:25 -0500
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Could some one who has heard both live and broadcast Met Toscas tell me how much they tinker with the volume in the HD performances?  Yoncheva seemed to have a Wagnerian soprano, and Grigolo was not far below that level. Every singer,in the broadcasts,seems to have equal power, which we all know is far from true.  Does anyone fear that Grigolo will self-combust?
Everyone in the packed house adored the performance, as did I - but let it be said that the Palm Beach production which as luck would have it, is running the same weekend, was also very close to perfection.  Conductor David Stern gave a forceful reading, the satisfying sets were Jean Pierre Ponelle (via San Francisco) and the voices were first rate as was the acting, thanks to Fenlon Lamb.
 I am a fan of Michael Chioldi, whom I last saw as a green sort of frogman in La Campana Sommersa; he made the transition to a threatening, booming Scarpia admirably.  The lovers were gifted, well trained young voices who flooded the theatre with easy top notes.  Tosca was Keri Alkema, and the extremely tall tenor was Riccardo Massi, who prolonged the   “Vittorio” for what seemed twenty bars.
PBO director Daniel Biaggi deserves congratulations for keeping the company in the black, by personal charm and by giving the audience what most opera goers want; attractive, vivid productions that enchant both eyes and ears.
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