I have seen all of the HDLive presentations this season and all, with the exception of this one, have been spectacular. The set was far below the standard for excellence that we have all come to expect. It was stark and dismal. Dessay, who has in the past been a sparkling, energetic soprano, appeared and sounded ill. She could still do those marvelous embellishments of this opera but failed on the high notes. The tenor and baritone were wonderful but so they were alone on the stage too much. The masked ball was a joke. The chance for creativity was missed by dressing the chorus in all black and white. Flowery, silky material livened up the second act but then the sagging began. I honestly do not understand why this opera is so popular.