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Subject: Re: Met Tosca in HD/Radio
From: simon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:simon <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 28 Jan 2018 22:22:08 -0500
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I was amused by Max's recollection of first seeing Tosca at age 10 - the
elderly gentleman sitting next to me at the HD performance was rather
curmudgeonly remarking (after an audience shot during the intermission)
that it *really* wasn't a suitable opera for young children (now there's a
new thread in that ...).

I saw my first Tosca somewhat later that that, during my student days; the
fact that it was Callas/Gobbi (at the ROH in the 60s) has set the bar for
comparisons rather high, but I can honestly say that this production is
running a very close second. Yoncheva and Lucic really caught fire in act 2
- I don't think even Gobbi portrayed evil so well, and the chemistry
between Yoncheva and Grigolo was palpable. Yoncheva definitely did have
moments reminiscent of Callas.

Yes, an excellent and well conceptualized production, and the intermission
interview with designer McFarlane describing the care with which they had
researched the locales in Rome and created such realistic stage sets was
very interesting.

-Simon

On Sat, Jan 27, 2018 at 11:17 PM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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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