Transcribed from my cell phone, the words of a left coast correspondent on tonight's Manon Lescaut:
Considering that the last time I saw Mattila on this stage she was tearin' it up as Kat'a, can you blame me for being shocked at how girlish she made her act 1 Manon? Also: her voice is sorta perfect.
And then, later:
Okay, so after act 2: maybe not *perfect* - some little pitch problems, some strident moments, but still, there are few people I'd rather hear sing this. This tenor Didyk is very much not to my taste (fast wide vibrato makes every note sound sharp) but there's no denying he can hit the notes. Overall, act 2 wasa funnier than I remember it being.
Incidentally, on youtube you can catch a glimpse of Mattila's Tosca, if you're so inclined, and some bits and pieces of Robert Carsen's Lohengrin with Mattila and Gwyneth Jones. Dame (?) Jones, in interview, sounding rather sweet, says how much she prefers singing nice characters to rotten ones. If I'm feeling a little sharper in the morning, I'll post a link, but I just finished watching Reds. At 3 1/2 hours (and not a minute that wants cutting) that movie really takes it out of you, doesn't it? And I always watch through the credits, waiting for the fleeting reference to Galli-Curci. For some reason I get a kick out of that.