Written August 27, 2014
Through out the three intermissions and afterward all I heard was: and there are touches of Strauss and Puccini and Mascagni. To me this sounds like there is nothing original in the piece. It was tedious musically. I didn't go home whistling anything!! Oh come on! Who doesn't like a bum-chuck Verdi tune to go home with? Theres's clearly a reason why this opera wasn't done at the Met for 30 years. Great singers, though, although the tenor was never my favorite.
Written March 17, 2013
The Met had not staged this title in over 20 years, and for good reason. The libretto is so disjointed as to render the plot almost incomprehensible to those who don't already know the story. However, as our first time watching a live movie-theater broadcast of a Metropolitan opera, we were thrilled by the experience. The production, costuming and cast were wonders to behold. During intermissions, the camera is allowed behind the curtain for a fascinating look at the dismantling and rebuilding of the enormous sets, as well as interviews with those involved in the production. We now plan to see one of these every month.
Written March 18, 2013
For my taste, some pleasantly-Italianate vocal lines, but no really lasting-in-the-memory arias or melodies. Beautiful visuals, and the orchestra sounded lush in its interpretation under Armiliato. Giordani's voice, to my ear, is pretty "run-of-the-mill Italian tenor", nothing remarkable, and I felt he's a bit long in the tooth for the character of Paolo; not a very expressive actor either. Westbroek, on the other hand, over-acted Francesca to the point of appearing overly bipolar; vocally, however, she had the richness and strength that Zandonai gave to the role. Delavan, as Gianciotto, lacked enough threatening characterization and physical 'disability' that Ricordi's libretto seems to infer; and, while his vocal range demonstrated a warm depth, his vocal line needed better flow, IMO.
Written August 22, 2014
We had never heard this work or the composer before, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The music was wonderful and the cast (despite the rather cool review by the New York Times' music critic) was sublime. We are traditionalists and we enjoyed the ancient staging. Spectacular describes the sets (like the old days).
Written March 17, 2013
An amazingly beautiful Opera and production of it.
The score was very, very interesting. One could her many composers' tones in it.. Certainly my favourites except perhaps Mozart[ not a particular favourite except for his Don Giovanni]. That wonderful instrumenatl interlude with solo, was it Cello or Viiolin [m if it was Cello I shall love the opera even more] when the lovers see each other for the first time was so moving, I was in floods of tears. it was only bettered by Leibestod, in Tristan and Isolde
The principle Tenors and Sopranos could have been better, l[ but I am biased] but the deeper voices won one over, they were exemplary. Please some one make the Mezzo Ginger something-Costa, famous very very famous, she stole the show in many, many ways. More must be seen and heard of her.
The staging was sublime. Everything in this Opera speaks dram , drama, drama,
Just the best I have seen for sometime. I shall now buy the DVD[ I hope it is buyable] to listen to Renato Scotto