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.