Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Market Correction

Hey, serious question for you: didn't Juan Pons suck for a while? Because he totally doesn't right now; quite the opposite. And that's the best news I have from last night's Forza.

Really, after the last few things I've attended, I think it's fair play on the part of the universe to take it down a notch. And I knew what I was getting into...Forza is a show that finds me furiously reading the plot synopsis, looking for shortcuts. Plus I'd probably seen this clunker of a production on tv--wasn't this the one telecast with Sharon Sweet, or was that a uniquely boring nightmare I had?

Rataplan rataplan rataplan! See, it's no more charming or in fact bearable when I do it. I'd have to diagnose Ildiko Komlosi, who I'd be surprised if the Met is rataplanning to invite back much, as not conspicuously talented, perfectly adequate and rather pretty.

But ok, Voigt was in really nice form. I'm almost tired of praising her singing, and tempted instead to say: Deb, sugar, you are looking super. But I'll pull myself together and comment instead that the mildly shouty quality of last year's Ballo is gone, the messa di voce is working, and she connected with Verdi stylistically in a way I wouldn't have guessed she would from her Aidas. I don't think anyone will remember this as one of her great roles, but it's a feather in her cap nonetheless. And she looks hilarious as a boy. There is no denying this.

Delavan is a singer who (in Parsifal, in Chicago, for example) has knocked the wind out of me, but he didn't at all last night, for whatever reason. There was something hollow about the sound he was producing that I hope is not chronic.

I'm going to admit something. I'm having a rotten time writing about this goddamn Forza. I did get to watch a hilariously concise set of gestures from one box patron to another that managed to encapsulate with remarkable economy: 1) stop rustling that godforsaken paper 2) because it's getting in the way of me listening to this intensely boring opera so 3) sorry, not trying to be overly cunty, but 4) STOPIT STOPIT STOPIT. Oh and I hear someone had, to say the least, severe indigestion in Family Circle, about which: ew. But it's something to write about. Which the production itself isn't, nor is Licitra really. Pretty voice; nothing going on.

So with that, I throw in the towel or the cowl or something. Monday is Mazeppa and at the very least I can act all knowledgeable because I am with the speaking of the Russian.

Oh wait, though. I'd like to take a second to dedicate a song to Samuel Ramey, and that song is "I will Always Love You." Not the sweet, guileless Dolly Parton original, but rather the big hideous Whitney Houston cover, I think. He looks 90 if a day, but he's still an Artist.

In the Jinx Department: Alex von Wellsung delivers a more measured meh.


Paul said...

A couple of years ago my wife and I were in NYC to see "Falstaff" at the Met. She has a serious thing for Dwayne Croft, so we were there to witness his singing as Ford. Earlier the day of the performance, whoever was scheduled to sing the title role crapped out, to be replaced by Juan Pons. He did a terrific job and made a delightful operatic experience even more special.

BTW, as much as I adore Sam Ramey (historically), isn't he getting a bit "long in the tooth" for some of these roles? I'm afraid that too many bare-chested portrayals of Mephistopheles, Attila,, may have gone to his head.

rysanekfreak said...

Must I state the obvious?

Padre Guardiano is an old coot! So there's nothing wrong if the make-up gives him that 90-year-old look.

Or are you guys telling us that Ramey sang the role bare-chested and this Padre was in his twenties?

Or am I now confusing Guardiano with Guernemanz and some bath house nekkid "Parsifal" I once hoped I was going to see?

Maury D'annato said...

Calmatevi, mein Herr Freak. I don't think either of us thought there was anything terribly wrong with him looking well aged. I merely noted it (thinking in fact the make-up doesn't have a lot of work to do these days), and Paul I think may be focusing more on his singing, and whether it's getting time to call it a long and excellent career and scoot out of the spotlight. Or not, I'm not sure. Ramey does have a much noted beat in his voice, and I for one think he's basically wonderful anyway.
I got a good laugh out of your bathhouse nekked Parsifal, though.

vilaine fille said...

Ramey's Leporello last season was one of the great performances one can hope to see and hear in a lifetime. He made the music sparkle as only a great Rossinian can, with verbal and rhythmic incisiveness and *leggerezza.* Dramatically, he simply disappeared into the character, never drawing attention to himself. A long-in-the-tooth Ramey remains a zillion times the artist of many a starry youth.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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