Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Second-hand News

Very briefly noted: I was pretty sure I was hearing the end of Villazon's career last night. Act I he kind of barfed out the first big high note, futzed around with vowels some, left out the last high, and I think maybe took a note or two down. At the end of Act II he strangled horribly on the tenor's big note before the big concertato finish (am I using that right?) and actually stopped singing. He cleared his throat loudly, paused an unbearable couple of seconds, and tried it again, without improvement. It was just simply awful. The act finished. We were told his cover was going on (you know who you are!) and left. Well I'm told by a reliable source he not only went back on, but was "spectacular."

Trebs and Lucia, in my book, not a great match. She was a very gracious colleague to VR and she popped out some nice high notes, but it was largely just a mess in the ways you'd predict. Pitchy, not stylistically idiomatic (and yes, that's a range, but I don't think her singing fell within it), not enough there to be rescued by her presence alone. Kwiecen and Abdrazakov admirably solid. Another good Arturo in Colin Lee.

4 comments:

R. said...

Preferences and loyalties aside, "spectacular" is probably pushing it. He held back and was reticent with high notes, but was obviously giving his best within this constraint. His commitment to the role palpably came through in what I found a moving performance in spite of the vocal issues (but then, I don't keep subtracting points for an 1/8th of a microtone here and there like some people when judging the overall performance). I think the audience ovation at the end was an expression of that, and not some pity applause, as I've read in various places today.

But yeah, those 2 endless seconds? Worse than when I thought Gary Lehman had broken his neck colliding with the prompter's box.

Anonymous Soprano said...

He needs serious therapy, and lighter rep. He is giving all the warning signs of some serious conditions caused by learned or reactive behavior by the vocal apparatus in response to the cords being injured. (A fancy way of saying your neck, tongue, etc, try to help your cords out because your cords are a significant part of your body's emergency response system.)

Quite frankly, if he doesn't shut up, fix this, and sing appropriate rep, he's not going to be able talk shortly.

Your Blue Friend said...

Colin Lee was the standout for me. I thought that Rolando's Act III was very moving, though my relative lack of musical knowledge or knowledge of this score makes me unqualified to determine whether it was spectacular or not.

manprano said...

To what disaster can we appropriately liken this? Certainly not one in which many were injured, but it ranks a little higher than having one's own sandcastle taken down in the waves...