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Subject: Met's Romeo & Juliette Opens This Evening
From: Paul Hand <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Hand <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 16 Mar 1998 17:22:56 -0500

text/plain (26 lines)

Hi Listers,
    To those of you who plan to attend R & J at the Met, here's something
you might like to focus on.  We Washington Opera listers also saw this opera
two months ago conducted by the same Bertrand de Billy, featuring Giordani
and Futral.  The thing I prized most in the performance wasn't mentioned in
any of the fine opera-l reviews.

     What I'm referring to isn't a certain aria but the molding of the
orchestral sound by de Billy.  In particular in the "Jour de deuil" for
chorus that directly follows the death of Tybalt.  It is a four-line passage
for chorus that is repeated after a short solo passage by Romeo.  On the CD
I used to prep for the opera, with Carreras live at Barcelona,  this chorus
is merely a static dirge resembling a slow, quiet march. The drama that is
potential in this section, coming at the dramatic climax of the opera, is
delivered stillborn.

     De Billy, by contrast, molds the dynamics in dramatic curves. Precise
control here over the orchestra & chorus.  Now the grief is active. The
expression is a no-longer-contained passionate outburst from the
townspeople.  The music recalled (a subjective reaction, surely) a section
of Mozart's Requiem( the Rex Tremendae I think ).

 [log in to unmask]
 Washington Opera guy
 Tysons Corner, Virginia

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