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I escorted a group of opera lovers from Saratoga to Saturday's matinee of "Onegin". Ms. Fleming was the initial draw, but on the bus ride home all the talk was of 'Dmitri'.

I really disliked the set--this was my second Feb outing to the Met, with both productions featuring a plain big box (the first was "Jenufa"), but the colors and costumes were just lovely, and the lighting effects were spectacular. In particular the sunrise following the duel was just breathtaking.

In the first act I thought the orchestra was drowning Renee out, but a friend who was sitting in the family circle had the opposite impression, so I wonder how much location in the house affects sound? In any case, Renee became stronger and stronger as the opera progressed and by the end she was glorious.

I turned to my daughter during the Polonaise and said: "shouldn't there be some choreography here?", but then came the shirt scene, and all thought of dance was banished!

Dmitri is incredibly handsome, charismatic, and can really sing! What a combination.

All in all, a most satisfying afternoon at the opera. No sign of illness from Ms. Fleming.


I heard from several people that Renee was on top vocal form earlier in the run; it's too bad she was ill on the night I was there since it put a real damper on things.

Gergiev has a tendency to let the orchestra 'sing out' even if the voices get covered.

You are so right about the lighting, it's really magical.

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