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Subject: Re: Met Tosca in HD/Radio
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Sat, 27 Jan 2018 23:17:29 -0500
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Idia Legray wrote:

"I was enthralled, shocked, and thrilled at one of the best acted Toscas I've seen in a long 
time."   

I agree completely with Idia's glowing assessment of today's HD, and I would just add extra 
kudos for Lucic's powerful Scarpia, one of the best I've ever seen - and he really sang the 
part, as opposed to barking it.  He was menacing without being melodramatic and projected 
a twisted sensuality as I think any really good Scarpia must.  (What would #MeToo think of 
him?)  I also loved when Lucic said during intermission that he liked the production because 
it did not require him to (in his words) "improvise silly things."  (Like oral sex when the 
curtain goes up on Act II - thank you, Luc Bondy.)

I went to the HD with a lack of enthusiasm and really only went to see the new production.  
I have seen what must be dozens of Tosca performances in my life (starting at age 10 in 
San Antonio, it was one of the first complete operas I ever saw), and frankly, it takes a 
really special cast to get me out of the house to see "Tosca" these days.  Also, I know the 
music and text so well that I can play the whole thing in my head bar for bar and recite the 
libretto near verbatim, so I really have gone stale on "Tosca."  

So imagine my surprise when, thanks to this fine performance, this opera grabbed me by 
the gut and I was seduced once again by its power.  In the right hands, the hackneyed old 
warhorse still has the capacity to thrill and chill this jaded listener.

It's hard to judge voices in HD, so I don't know what Yoncheva and Grigolo sounded like in 
house.  But as heard in the theater they were outstanding.  Yoncheva delivered a beautiful 
"Vissi d'arte," and the tricky passage at "Le voci dalle cose" in Act I was flawless.   The 
production was wonderful - it was realistic and grounded in locale, as is the opera itself, 
without Zefferelli's excesses.  And superbly staged  Good riddance to the Bondy mess.

MDW

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