Written June 25, 2016
David Alden's resetting of this new production to late 1920's Stockholm, with marvelously creative sets by Steinberg and gorgeous costumes by Reiffenstuel, works beautifully, as did the very inventive staging - - BRAV-O !!! Vocally, for me, Radvanovsky was the clear stand-out; the many colors, nuances and excellent control over her instrument, as well as appropriate and attentive acting of the role, only served to present a stirring, fine Amelia. Alvarez was, in my opinion, a rather studied and lack-luster Gustavo ... pleasant enough to listen to, but not very "natural" or gifted an actor, and noticeably short on vocal shadings. Hvorostovsky was, well, HVOROSTOVSKY - - very Russian, with his typical macho depth and swagger, but you've gotta love the power and breadth with which he performs: it's as if he utilizes the cavity of his entire body, all the way into his fingers and toes, to produce such expansive sound ! Blythe's instrument was rich and round as ever.
Written April 26, 2015
The singing was good, the direction was ludicrous. This is exactly what keeps opera goers away. Amalia going to the gallows hill (which has a shiny, alabaster-type of ground with a small herb on it) in a fancy dress with all her jewelry on; Oscar, who should be a teenager with that voice having a mustache and beard; (and if he is a grown-up, why the soprano voice???); the conspirator openly defacing Gustavo's picture in front of Oscar, who is wearing wings off-and-on; What kind of insane asylum was it? and we were, watching it?
I definitely will put the director on the never again watch list.
Written July 30, 2015
I loved this performance from the Metropolitan Opera! The singers were outstanding, truly thrilling. The house was packed. I had seen Ballo live at the Met and enjoyed the HD. Some critics and viewers did not like the new production but I found it interesting. I hope to see the HD encore in January.
Written May 25, 2016
SAT.DEC 8TH TOOK A FREIND TO SEE VERDI'S BALLO IN MASCHERA AT BROADWAY 13TH STREET JUST OFF UNION SQUARE. BEAUTIFUL MUSIC SPOILT BY MUCH TOO HIGH VOLUME....MANY PEOPLE WERE COMPLAINING. THE VOLUME WAS SO HIGH THAT THE VOICES WERE DISTORTED. A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE WERE SO UPSET THEY WENT OUT TO COMPLAIN. THE USHERS, WHO SAID THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO ABOUT IT. .OUT OF THEIR CONTROL.
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO IS IN CONTROL OF THE VOLUME IN THE HD MOVIES,
WHO TO TALK TO ABOUT THE VOLUME? AFTER ALL WE PAY EXTRA TO HEAR THE OPERA IN HD, SO IT WAS VERY UPSETTING TO HAVE THE BEAUTIFUL VOICES RUINED.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THE VOLUME? WANT TO COME BACK NEXT WEEK
Written June 25, 2016
How can you go wrong--sublime Verdi music plus fabulous singers, who are also wonderful actors. In particular Sondra Radvanovsky. I have never seen such emoting and such passion. She makes Amelia seem so real. Her voice is exquisite. And then there is the incomparable Dimitri Hvorostovsky--just the expressions on his face alone can convey everything he is feeling and, in turn, makes you feel. He give such a powerful performance.
One reviewer criticized Stephanie Blythe's weight. What? Even if you are thinking it, don't say it. Such opinions should be kept to oneself. This is her body--her business.
I had never seen this opera and was only vaguely familiar with the music. It was such an intense and moving experience--I was crying at the end. (Some of those tears was sadness that it was over).
This is my third HD opera this season. I am loving each one This is by far the best season yet.
Kudos to Peter Gelb--and please keep them coming..