Martin Bernheimer in Opera:
The massive occasion of the season, up to now, was the brand new manufacturing of “Le Nozze di Figaro,” which opened on October 29 (this, it might he famous, was solely the Met’s 368th efficiency of Mozart’s masterpiece). The forged, led by Bryn Terfel within the title position, was stellar in depth. The hand-me-down staging got here courtesy of none lower than Jonathan Miller and not directly from the Vienna Staatsoper. However, for higher or worse (in all probability worse), the centre of consideration was Cecilia Bartoli.
Having made her Met debut as an adorably powerful, street-urchin Despina two seasons in the past, and having returned as a gutsy-waif Cenerentola final 12 months, Bartoli determined to play the Mozartian waif her method. That method concerned numerous tough, harsh tone, a substantial amount of sturdy and stressed bodily humour, infinite mugging -vocal in addition to facial – and unashamed vulgarity that permitted her to grind a heel into Figaro’s crotch when he was down in Act 4. A lot for conventional sweetness and appeal. On the first efficiency she sang the customary version of the rating, and the excessive tessitura posed no explicit pressure for her dusky mezzo-soprano. Nevertheless, on the subsequent three performances (which shaped the idea of the forthcoming video and tv displays) she foreswore the bustling “Venite inginocchiatevi” and the elegant “Deh vieni, non tardar” in favour of the showpieces Mozart offered for Adriana Ferraresi within the Vienna manufacturing of 1789. Everybody applauded Bartoli’s virtuosity, however some observers – the producer reportedly amongst them – lamented the substitution of selfish agitation for magical serenity in what was once the backyard scene (right here, as designed by Peter Davison, one thing of a Baroque concrete jungle).
Miller’s reasonably absent-minded manufacturing pressured the corruption of a decaying aristocracy with out paying a lot apparent consideration to niceties of characterization or unity of perspective. Underneath the circumstances, one needed to admire remoted achievements: Terfel’s hearty, extrovert Figaro, Renee Fleming’s exquisitely unhappy Countess, Dwayne Croft’s grandly befuddled Rely, Susanne Mentzer’s puppydog-cute Cherubino, Paul Plishka’s massive and bluff Bartolo, Heinz Zednik’s cannily effete Basilio and Wendy White’s gently understated Marcellina. (The final two needed to make their mark with their arias reduce, as common.)
On at the present time in 1964 Metropolitan Opera’s opening evening featured the Nathaniel Merrill manufacturing of Aida.
On at the present time in 1961 Frank Loesser‘s musical How To Succeed In Enterprise With out Actually Making an attempt opened on Broadway.
Completely happy birthday to Our Personal and Our Indispensable Christopher Corwin, whose new podcast launches just a little later right this moment.