Donizetti Revival at the Met Hints at More to Come

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Donizetti Revival at the Met Hints at More to Come

Post by lennygoran » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:29 pm

We've seen this production-it's wonderful-what new ground is OESTREICH wanting! I sure hope there's more stuff like this coming the Met's way! Regards, Len

Review: A Donizetti Revival at the Met Hints at More to Come


Is it just me, or has there been a surfeit of bel canto repertory at the Metropolitan Opera in recent years? To judge from the number of empty seats and the lack of buzz at the revival of Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” (“The Elixir of Love”) in Bartlett Sher’s staging on Tuesday evening, despite an excellent cast of singers, others may agree.

The Sher production itself — though serviceable and mostly attractive to the eye, with sets by Michael Yeargan and costumes by Catherine Zuber — breaks no new ground and created little stir when new, opening the Met’s 2012-13 season, or in earlier revivals.

What excitement there was here centered on the leads, the South African soprano Pretty Yende, as Adina in her role debut at the Met, and the American tenor Matthew Polenzani, as Nemorino, the role he sang at that 2012 opening. And in Ms. Yende’s case, it was hard not to look past this performance a bit to April, when she will take over the more demanding and telling title role in the company’s production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Still, she brought a winning combination of elegance and spunk to the part of the farm owner Adina in her amorous jousting with the ardent peasant Nemorino and the bullying sergeant Belcore. Ms. Yende sang beautifully from the start, gaining warmth and depth as nonchalance and flirtatiousness developed into love. She deftly executed the acrobatics at the end, with joyous, tumbling high roulades.

Mr. Polenzani was a worthy foil, singing with pliant strength and clarion tone while tracing his character’s shifting moods and dispositions, from love-struck, clumsy confusion to puffed-up confidence, owing to what he thinks is a love potion when he is in fact getting drunk on cheap wine.

After all that, Mr. Polenzani summoned melting emotion in his second-act showpiece, “Una furtiva lagrima,” fondling and polishing the tone like a fine jewel. As it invariably does when well executed, the aria brought down even this relatively staid house.

Ildebrando D’Arcangelo was bluff and entertaining as the traveling snake-oil salesman Dulcamara, Davide Luciano proved suitably overbearing as Belcore, and Ashley Emerson was a lovely Giannetta.

The Venezuelan conductor Domingo Hindoyan, in his house debut, moved things along nicely and drew sharp responsiveness from the orchestra. A slight disunity in the crowd scenes at the beginning and end of Act II will probably sort itself out in future performances.

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Re: Donizetti Revival at the Met Hints at More to Come

Post by maestrob » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:36 am


Pretty Yende's debut album is an outstanding portrait of a true star, and has been followed by two further releases in quick order. There is a great deal of excitement in operatic circles about this fine South African soprano, reviewed by me in these pages, and I'm glad you got to see/hear her, Len. :D The conductor on the album pictured above (Armaliato) is an outstanding musician and much in demand, even at the MET where he led one of the most exciting and inventive (musically) Trovatore performances in my memory.

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Re: Donizetti Revival at the Met Hints at More to Come

Post by lennygoran » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:17 am

maestrob wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:36 am
I'm glad you got to see/hear her, Len.
Brian yes between her and Camarena it was just an incredible night at the opera-their singing was just superb! Regards, Len :D

[Met Performance] CID:356629
I Puritani {59} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/14/2017.

Metropolitan Opera House
February 14, 2017

Vincenzo Bellini-Carlo Pepoli

Elvira..................Pretty Yende
Arturo..................Javier Camarena
Riccardo................Alexey Markov
Giorgio.................Luca Pisaroni
Enrichetta..............Virginie Verrez
Gualtiero...............David Crawford
Bruno...................Eduardo Valdes

Conductor...............Maurizio Benini

Production..............Sandro Sequi
Set Designer............Ming Cho Lee
Costume Designer........Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer.......Gil Wechsler
Stage Director..........Sarah Ina Meyers

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