Written September 16, 2014
The one duet was amazing; everything else was written for solo voices, many of which were wonderful (e.g., Stephanie Blythe). The interviews during the 2 intermissions were interesting, as always. However, it'll take me a while to (if I ever can) get used to hearing the counter-tenor voice for the role of the king (Andreas Scholl); my cultural prejudices made it difficult for me to accept the high pitched voice coming from the mouth of the symbol of strength and power. Only in the king's duet with his wife, Rodelinda (Renee Flemming), did I love the sound.
Technically, this was the 1st HD broadcast where I heard problems with the balance or microphone placement; singers' voices "came and went" depending on which way they turned or where they were on the stage. Still, I'd go anywhere I had the chance to hear these singers!
Written September 22, 2014
Perfection from every angle - music, cast, conductor staging. I wish I had seen both the live screening as well a the encore broadcast - this is a movie to see over and over.
Written September 02, 2014
Even though this is a Baroque piece, Renee Fleming is an amazing singer actress. She is well supported by the cast around her, including the wonderful voice of Stephanie Blyth.
Written January 05, 2012
always lovely to see Fleming, but the repetition was deadening. I awoke for the 2nd and most of the 3rd. The counter-tenors were laughable--so sorry, as they seemed so very nice during intermission interviews.
Written October 02, 2014
First, the singers are marvelous, and, while I don't care for counter-tenor singing, the counter-tenors were quite good. Here's the problem: Handel. This was my first (and last) Handel opera. He repeats lines to uberextreme levels. In one scene, a character sings, "I saved your life; get your revenge and kill me now." Well, beyond the absurdity of that concept, the (poor) singer saddled w/those lyrics had to repeat them an uncountable number of times AND actually follow the person he was saying them to, nearly running after him. He heard the first (40) times, I'm sure. Also, Handel's vocal riffs are as excessive as his repetitions. He must have been paid by the note and not the word.
Oh, a 40-plus-minute intermission for an encore? Unpardonable. The second one was about 30 minutes.
The "son" was woefully underdirected. This was NOT the actor's fault. He did his best.
My advice: Stick w/Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus. No operas.