Oh, that c sharp. That did not bode well. We here at My Favorite Intermissions are, in the spirit of daring inspired by Parterre's call on Levine, going to lay good odds on Kunde bowing out at intermission. Is there a cover for the cover? [D'oh! Wrong as usual!]
Also I'm ready to declare this not Netrebko's rep because the passagework is not entirely working out and the first high note of the evening was definitely iffy, but she sure sounds pretty in the simple lyric moments.
Ok and the bass singing Ah per sempre (if I'm not mixing up my wholly interchangeable bel canto arias): that was a lesson in what bel canto style is not. That is to say, I Puritani is not by Mascagni.
Not heart-broken about not having gone to this. Will update later, no doubt. Having a bit of a compulsive writing day.
Ok and Son Vergin is sounding perfectly adequate, and no high note. Hm. Yeah, sorry, it sounds idiotic to yelp "No e flat! No e flat!" except it's I Puritani, so it's kind of part of the package.
And then John Relyea shows up to save the day, singing a very pretty "Cinta di Fiori"...
Qui la voce: droopy in that pretty, dreamy late Sutherland way. Vien diletto: a little bit droopy in the not so good way, i.e. approximate, but very pleasant to listen to. E flat? Long, solid, and perhaps a shade flatter than intended? Someone tell me if I'm wrong, Netrebko always sounds pitchy to me. Crowd: loving her.
A bunch of what leads up to Vieni was quite heart-breaking. It seemed like Kunde was trying super-hard to sound younger and prettier, and it wasn't happening. And then the duet itself was sort of ok, and the f was weird, as it must be, but not bad and not wholly falsetto.
And then, I just can't put sugar on it, there was a howl of desperation from Netrebko to end the opera that just, ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Blekh. What can I say to convey the wrongness of that note? But you know what? I'm giving her points for trying it. Without that kind of chutzpah we wouldn't have had the e flat in the Callas Mexico City Aida. It could have been a triumph, if it hadn't been a fiery freeway accident.
Is it time to put Puritani back into the crate for another twenty years, or fifty?