She's a star!!! Last night at the Met was the first Mme.Butterfly of Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, and to these supposedly jaded ears, I was totally captivated by her vocalism,musicianship, stage deportment, and in total, she proved to be one of the brightest lights in the opera world today.
    The voice is rich and opulent, with an easily produced upper range (D flat in the entrance and piano B natural in "dolore' at the beginning of act three, as two examples.). In this extremely difficult role (Olivia Stapp says she finds  act two Butterfly harder the the whole of Elektra, owing to the sheer emotion involved.),
Mme.Opolais brings a vulnerable and sympathetic portrayal to the stage. She has the sense of line and phrase that is so endearing to those of us who so much appreciate an artist who can bring us to tears in so many of the glorious Puccini moments. I hope the Met will use her in many roles in future years.(Mimi next season.).  I thank her, as did the audience with its ovation, for a beautiful evening.
      Sadly, Mr.Valenti, whom I enjoyed so much at City opera, has great vocal problems;the middle is of decent, although unmemorable, quality, but th moment he reaches for high notes, the sound is totally "strangulato" and in act three, the 2 B flats were totally covered by the orchestra, since he has no trace of squillo. The act one love duet requires TWO sings to make it work, and sad to say, it did not have much effect, despite that positively riveting staging. (I got to love the production so much, even the puppet.)
     I would wonder if Dwayne Croft is not re-studying, because I found a very noticeable improvement in his vocal production,unlike recent years where I found the passaggio rather nasal and the voice not what I first loved so much;he was superb, and he and the fine Maria Zifchak (Suzuki) received well-deserved cheers, unlike the reaction to Mr.Valenti,which was "cool."(I guess the Met audience does have ears on occasion.)
    I was most impressed by Scott Scully as Goro.It is a pleasure to have a voice that is totally well-produced all through the range, and as Ialways say, Richard Bernstein is too fine a singer to be relegated to the Commissioner. Furthermore, the Bonzo of Stefan Szkafarowsky (get rid of Tanovitski) and especially the Yamadori of Jeongcheol Cha, made me hope they will graduate to larger roles some day soon.
     I noted a large group of Rochester.New York high school seniors who dressed so beautifully, that I was happy to see a group of young people not appearing like some of the slobs I have seen at the Met (even guys in shorts!).
      I see two more Butterflies, and perhaps MrValenti was ill and really is much more of what I remember, and then we have one with last year's fine Aida, Hui He, and last season's pretty dull Manrico of Gwyn Hughes-Jones, who would be better suited to Pinkerton. Marcello Giordani,where were you last night?
       If you love opera, combine Puccini's great music and Kristine Opolais' talent, and you have a mostly great evening!!      Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EST


More Great Music

December 2017
S M T W T F S
     
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Archives

Syndication

Contact