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Romantic hero « parterre field

Although Bartlett Sher’s Rigoletto premiered lower than a yr in the past, it feels prefer it’s been right here ceaselessly. The monolithic revolving set and blandly flattering costumes scream “Met revival” (what Michael Mayer’s Vegas manufacturing screamed is a complete different query), and the much-discussed Weimar Konzept provides not a lot in any respect.

It subsequently falls upon the singers to make one thing of the manufacturing—fortunately, final evening we had a starry array of Met debuts to supply a frisson of pleasure.

The primary cause to see this revival is Benjamin Bernheim’s Duca. Over the previous few years Bernheim has steadily turn out to be the lyric tenor of alternative in Europe, and after I’ve heard him in Zurich and Vienna I’ve been impressed by the magnificence of his singing. However how does that translate to a home the dimensions of the Met?

Fortunately, he greater than fulfils expectations—I’ve by no means heard him sound fairly so thrilling, filling the auditorium with burnished tone. The glory of his voice is his hovering higher register, with countless reserves of energy. But it surely’s within the softer moments that discover him at his most spectacular, with easy gruppeti and meltingly tender sound.

He’s not essentially the most charismatic actor, and lacks the sting of hazard the character wants, however he has a beautiful sincerity that may go well with any romantic hero. Convey him again quickly—dare we ask for a brand new manufacturing of Faust?

Bernheim was partnered properly by Rosa Feola’s Gilda, a recognized amount from the premiere run. Although her lyric soprano is as delectable as ever, I received the sense that she is going to quickly outgrow the position—the stratospheric staccati of act one, by no means her explicit power, sounded much less snug this time round, and her excessive E flat comes out of sheer willpower at this level.

Nonetheless, she’s at all times been her finest within the remaining two acts, marrying ravishing tone with a determined vulnerability that recollects Cotrubas at her finest—no straightforward feat.

Quinn Kelsey’s Rigoletto additionally returned from the premiere run, and is as soon as once more fulfils all the position’s calls for with out being actually revelatory. He’s at his finest in courtroom scenes, snarling on the courtiers with actual chew. However on the subject of Rigoletto’s huge moments, it’s not fairly sufficient—his straightforward legato and burnished, muscular tone ought to be supreme for “Cortigiani”, however it comes throughout as wonderful singing with out being the second of catharsis it ought to.

The opposite main onstage debutante was Russian mezzo Aigul Akhmetshina, who made a splash leaping in as Carmen on the Royal Opera Home at age 21. Maddalena has turn out to be a calling card position for her round Europe, and she or he definitely has the plummy sound for the half.

It’s a bit small-scale for the Met, and her sound will get a bit misplaced within the quartet, however she vamps across the stage with such charisma that it nearly doesn’t matter. As her brother, John Relyea sounds higher than he has in years, providing inky sound and hulking sleaziness. Maintain an eye fixed out, as properly, for Brittany Renee, a Countess Ceprano of bizarre presence.

The ultimate debut of the night got here from the pit. Speranza Scappucci mixed dramatic aptitude and boundless power with scrupulous consideration to her singers, drawing some attractive rubati from the orchestra. Her tendency to push the tempo was thrilling at instances, bumpy in others—the hurtling pace of “Cortigiani” robbed it of its energy—however she has an actual really feel for Verdi’s music and would definitely be an asset to the home sooner or later.



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