Photo: Ken Howard, Metropolitan Opera
I wrote recently that the typical Donizetti soprano heroine requires range, power, agility, and expression. Quite true in the case of Elisabetta, and with Ms. Radvanovsky we had all those attributes in abundance. Beautiful, steely but warm sound, agility, range, and acting. I've really become a fan since she started singing the bel canto roles--the three Donizetti queens, Norma, and let's hope for more in the future--and she thrills me every time I see her live. Her Act I aria "L'amor suo mi fe' beata" was magic, and her final "Quel sangue versato" nearly brought the house down. There was a moment after the cannon shot that announced Roberto's death when one could hear weeping throughout the audience and nothing else, so powerful was Ms. Radvanovsky's performance.
|Production photos of Ms. Garanča|
as Sara are rare
Photo: Karina Schwarz,
And her Nottingham? The very accomplished Mariusz Kwiecen, whom we have seen and quite liked as Don Giovanni. His own Act I cavatina "Forse in quel cor sensible... Qui ribelle ognum ti chiama" was beautiful in its sound and lyricism. As the husband who believes himself wronged, he was quite a powerful actor. He and Ms. Garanča had a fiery chemistry together on stage.
|Screen capture of Ms. Garanča and Mr. Kwiecen|
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David McVicar's production gets a thumbs-up from me. Some features of the design drew attention to the fact there was no such thing as privacy as we know it in the Tudor period. The principals always seemed to be observed by courtiers and were rarely, if ever, alone. The remainder of the production team--Costume Designer Moritz Junge, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Set Designer Mr. McVicar--all get high marks from me as well.
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under Maruizio Benini played at its usual level of excellence, and Maestro Benini drove the drama and the musical arc quite skillfully. The Metropolitan Opera Chorus seemed quite flawless, as usual.
Highly recommended. I intend to see it again.
|Photo: Ken Howard, Metropolitan Opera|