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Comments

Dmitry

Frankly, maestro Frizza made me wish Carlo Rizzi was back on the podium. Or Simone Young. I've never heard such chaos at the Met. One would have thought Frizza was sight-reading the score for the first-time in his life and didn't know what notes came next. I can't imagine any of the singers on that stage were having a good time. I'm sure they had no idea what was coming next anymore than we did. Frizza is doing some "Trovatores" later this season and "Armida" next year. I hope Renee Fleming uses her powers to ship him back to wherever he came from!

Beczala was terrific, I agree. The voice is gorgeous, big, warm, full. The top is effortless, the bottom is booming. I hope he takes good care of himself and sticks around for a long time. I liked Gagnidze more than you did, Philip. I agree that the Met might be a size too big for him; perhaps he's also still getting used to singing at a place like the Met. (His previous engagements were in less noticeable houses.) Kurzak's voice is small, but she was also very sick and almost cancelled. Frizza was helping nobody. And the staging is basically a free-for-all at this point. Maybe it's time for a new production (if they can afford it. I can think of a few productions Gelb plans to replace that he should leave alone!)

Philip

Yes, the conducting really dampened the evening. I didn't dislike Gagnidze's voice but I'd rather that he had left off the veristic vocal touches. I like to hear this music really sung, using a lot of colour instead of barking and semi-parlando. (As he got older, Robert Merrill increasingly used to do a lot of off-the-note over-emphasis and it got really tiresome.) Of course it is hard to rein-in dramatic effects and especially if the voice is a shade too small for the House. The basic timbre of Gagnidze's voice is very nice.

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