“La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

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lennygoran
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“La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by lennygoran » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:16 pm

Gotta admit -I have no idea what's she's talking about-what kind of update. Regards, Len [dinosaur man]

Arts|Review: Puccini’s American Opera Needs a New American Vision

Review: Puccini’s American Opera Needs a New American Vision


By Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

Oct. 5, 2018

“My heart was beating like the double basses in the card scene,” Puccini told The New York Times in 1910, after the premiere of his Western-themed “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera. That scene is a pivotal moment for the heroine, Minnie, as she gambles her lover’s life on a game of poker with the town sheriff. In the pit, jittery 16th notes in the basses ratchet up tension.

The Met can make even stars anxious. Nerves certainly seemed stretched on Thursday during the season premiere of Giancarlo del Monaco’s 1991 production of Puccini’s opera about love and redemption during the California gold rush.

In the title role, the soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sometimes sounded shrill and squally. Her amber-flecked voice had plenty of fire power, but top notes overshot the mark, coming out tight and aggressive. As Dick Johnson, the bandit Minnie redeems with her love, the tenor Yusif Eyvazov got off to a tremulous start, with lines first wan in the lower register, then brash without warning as the melody rose. (Mr. Eyvazov has only three performances in this role before the box-office darling Jonas Kaufmann takes over on Oct. 17.)

But by the middle of Act II, the performance settled, and especially Mr. Eyvazov’s voice relaxed and warmed up. In the scene where Dick and Minnie reveal themselves to each other in her cabin, Mr. Eyvazov sang with appealing lyricism, effusive but firm. Puccini’s score here is a marvel of sonic perspective. A gauzy offstage male chorus shadows Johnson’s lines, lending depth to the portrait of an outlaw tentatively probing his conscience.

The conductor Marco Armiliato gave a magisterial reading of this sophisticated music with its modernist colorings and rhythmic verve. The large cast — almost all men — was well stocked with talent. As Ashby, the bass Matthew Rose stood out, as did the baritone Michael Todd Simpson as Sonora. Zeljko Lucic, suffering from a cold, summoned his reserves for a menacing Jack Rance, the sheriff whose jealous love for Minnie almost costs Johnson his life.

As vocal jitters calmed and the show unfolded with cinematic polish, the hollow realism of this production became apparent. Perhaps more than any other opera in the Met’s repertory, this story needs a makeover from a director unafraid to take a stance. It is, after all, a story about America written for America.

Sure, the country served as an imaginary utopian space for European artists like Puccini. But the questions of “Fanciulla” strike close to home. What is gained and lost in the pursuit of riches? How can a woman maintain her autonomy and trust in love? What turns a group of jocular, Bible-fearing citizens into a lynch mob? The opera is awash with guns and casual racism. But it’s also a story about reconciliation and second chances. It deserves an updated staging. As Puccini knew when he watched the premiere, his pulse racing, what happens on the Met stage matters.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/05/arts ... opera.html

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Re: “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by Lance » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:01 am

Hmm. Well, I get a little bit of an idea of what she's talking about. However, it is difficult to put into words! :lol:
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Rach3
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Re: “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by Rach3 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:46 am

I'll defer to the opera experts here. In the early 90's I did see live a performance at the Santa Fe Opera, which I greatly enjoyed, despite sitting with our raincoats on, a glass of warming cabernet in hand, as rain came down thru the open -air roof.At the end of the card scene Act , the heroine threw the deck of cards into the air in triumph , very effective staging, an effect not done in a later, less effective Met TV broadcast I saw. My view at the time was the opera was really about, and the hero was, Jack Rance, who finally relents and acknowledges the better man has won her heart . An opera about America for Americans ??? Not my impression. What about , and for whom, are "Butterfly " , "Boheme " , "Tosca" ?

lennygoran
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Re: “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by lennygoran » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:04 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:46 am
My view at the time was the opera was really about, and the hero was, Jack Rance, who finally relents and acknowledges the better man has won her heart .
That's not my view-Minnie's the hero! Regards, Len :lol:

maestrob
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Re: “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by maestrob » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:06 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:04 am
Rach3 wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:46 am
My view at the time was the opera was really about, and the hero was, Jack Rance, who finally relents and acknowledges the better man has won her heart .
That's not my view-Minnie's the hero! Regards, Len :lol:
I'm with you, Len, which is why she's the title character (The GIRL of the Golden West). As for updating, that's nonsense. As for the singers, I only know Lucic, and he's a fine baritone (We saw him as Scarpia in the recent Tosca telecast.).

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lennygoran
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Re: “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by lennygoran » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:34 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:06 pm
. As for the singers, I only know Lucic, and he's a fine baritone (We saw him as Scarpia in the recent Tosca telecast.).
Brian we saw it live and also HD in Rockaway-the Met abandoned the terrible Luc Bondy production and now has a wonderful new production! Lucic was imo very good! Regards, Len

maestrob
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Re: “La Fanciulla del West” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Post by maestrob » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:24 am

lennygoran wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:34 pm
maestrob wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:06 pm
. As for the singers, I only know Lucic, and he's a fine baritone (We saw him as Scarpia in the recent Tosca telecast.).
(T)he Met abandoned the terrible Luc Bondy production and now has a wonderful new production! Lucic was imo very good! Regards, Len
Yes, indeed! Thank heaven for small favors! :)

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