Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quel Jour de Fete! (en HD)

Tonio- Juan Diego Florez
Marie- Natalie Dessay
Marquise of Berkenfield- Felicity Palmer
Sulpice- Alessandro Corbelli
Duchess of Krankenthorp- Marian Seldes
Hortensius- Donald Maxwell
Conductor- Marco Armiliato

A sigh and a groan went up in the Metropolitan Opera House when, after minutes of applause and a few mid-opera bows, Juan Diego Florez did not begin an encore. *sigh* Everyone in the movie theater just went "Aw, man." Life went on. Ohhhh, but the JDF fun doesn't stop there! He was simply glorious the whole show! His acting was (in my opinion) even better than at the Barber's last season. His voice was, as usual, amazing and the D flat at the end of his second act aria blew me away! It's still ringing in my ears. I've never heard something like that before, it was beautiful! Well, he's beautiful so it works.
It was wrong of me to say that Natalie Dessay was "sadly neglected" because she received enormous ovations for her numerous arias and final curtain call. I had always thought well of her, and liked her Lucia earlier this season, but this performance sealed the deal! I have officially hitched onto the Natalie Dessay bandwagon!!! Her singing is amazing and her acting is impeccable. Her coloratura is fast and furious, her high notes are sharp, and her personality is as big as the Met stage. Brava.
Felicity Palmer and Alessandro Corbelli were fabulous as the Marquise and Sulpice. Last season Corbelli was dee-heelightful as Gianni Schicci and I'm so glad he's back doing another comic role! Felicity Palmer is no stranger to opera fans and she sounded so wonderful! It made me so happy to hear her. They were so funny together, they worked off of each other and the other cast members so well. They obviously love what they are doing and it was so enjoyable to watch them.
The illustrious (strait-laced, anyone?) Duchess of Krankenthorp was played by the famous Marian Seldes. While this is only a speaking role, it is quite easy for the Duchess to steal the show. Although she had a commanding presence and a knack for all things comic, Madame Seldes might not have a strong hold on the French language. It's tough stuff (I would know, I'm studying it now), so we won't hold it against her! I think that maybe some of her scripted comedy and bursts of English were a little over the top, she was hysterically funny and it's easy to say that she left a lasting impression on the Met audience.
Some may not love this new production my Laurent Pelly, but I thought it was marvelous! His vision of Marie was very different from some other productions (i.e. Sutherland at Covent Garden), but I think it went perfectly with the role. Instead of having Marie be dressed up, Pelly had Dessay in a tank top and overalls, doing all the dirty work and getting messy. She was a true tomboy, and I loved it! The production as a whole was beautiful. Very modern, but not obnoxious or Eurotrash-y. Alessandro Corbelli said in the intermission interview that it was "fresh" and that he loved it. He's absolutely right!
What is there to say about the chorus and orchestra? Marco Armiliato kept the tempo up and made the orchestra sound its best. The best it sounded was during the orchestra and the entr'acte, but it sounded wonderful throughout. The chorus sounded superb and it was a delight to watch them commit to all the physical demands this production calls for.
I'm also seeing this on Friday, so I will have more details then. GO SEE THE ENCORE TOMORROW IN MOVIE THEATERS!!!!!!
Happy Listening!! =)

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Welcome aboard the Natalie Wagon. Happy to have you here.