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Showing posts from August, 2010

La fille du regiment DVD Review

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I watched this rendition of La fille du regiment with the excellent Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Florez a few weeks ago and I am now getting around to my review of it. All in all, it was an excellent production. The leads did great jobs with just a few small foibles, and the supporting cast was superb in both acting and voice.

The acting overall is quite good. Florez, for his part, has some rote gestures that he does again and again (particularly turning away and turning back before starting a phrase). However, he does a good job of acting the part with a sincerity that has been unusual until recently for tenors in particular. That said, there have been exceptions in the past and there are a wide variety of tenors with acting ability currently on the stages. Florez isn't an exquisite actor above the rest, but he's good enough without a doubt. The supporting singers all play their roles well, especially Felicity Palmer (except not so well when she's singing).…

La donna è mobile

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No, this post is not about Rigoletto. In fact, this is a review of the Met's rebroadcast of last year's Carmen. I was, all in all, blown away by the production. I will supply this caveat to that statement however: the last time I attended Carmen the production was overall abhorrent. The woman playing Carmen, Jossie Pérez, in addition to being gorgeous, did an excellent job (as she did playing Maddalena in Rigoletto, on which occasion I had the honor of meeting her). Overall however, the rest of the cast was uninspired and vocally troubled, the production didn't have a lot of pizazz, and the choice to reset the show in Cuba didn't really succeed.

Thus, I'm predisposed to find this performance better. However, Elīna Garanča far surpassed even Jossie Pérez in her interpretation of the title role. Overall, this performance can best be described as having incredible presence. The character's came to life, the emotions were in your face, the sultriness of the whole s…