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Subject: Re: "Mefistofele' tonight at the Met
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Fri, 9 Nov 2018 12:17:42 -0500

text/plain (47 lines)

I had a grand time listening to Boito’s bad boy last night over the free Met feed.  (I pay for 
Sirius, but prefer the Met’s free broadcast which plays in “real time.”)

It’s no surprise the Met Chorus and Orchestra were as integral a part of the show as the 
principals, their contributions adding immeasurably to the enjoyment of the evening.  No 
matter how marvelously tasting the filling is in Boito’s sandwich, it is in the “bread” of the 
Prologue and Epilogue that Boito makes us sigh in awe.  

While I’ve been hearing and reading that Christian van Horn lacks the depth of tone of a 
Triegle or a Hines as the title character, I absolutely adored his youthful sounding devil, the 
almost shimmery quality of his vibrato and, without having opportunity to see him, the 
combination of intensity and casual levity he brought to the role.  

Mr. Fabiano, at least to me, sounded wan and uninvolved in the first part of the evening, as 
did Angela Meade, who also had some squally qualities I was not enamored of.  The big duet 
of Act 1 felt underwhelming in both involvement and lacked any “wow” factor whatsoever.  I 
was more than pleasantly surprised in Act 2 when both rallied and sounded almost like 
different singers, and Meade’s level of intensity and “go for broke” knocked me into next 
Tuesday.  I can’t recall hearing her with this kind of raw, open forceful power and she had 
the hair standing on the back of my neck by her final moments.  

Jennifer Check sounded close to perfect as Helen of Troy and the scene was glorious, Boito’s 
built in “faux subtlety” working as aural magic – matching what I recall seeing several times 
in Mr. Carson’s world-wide well-worn production.  

That scene built and built itself into the glorious epilogue which is one of the most richly 
satisfying opera endings I know, returning to the “ave signor” . .  .  .  as it was in the 
beginning, now and ever shall be, world without end . . .  Amen!

How wonderful to have this back at the Met, and what a foolish, wasted opportunity was 
missed by not having scheduled this one for an HD performance instead of yet another Aida, 
Carmen or Fille.  


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