I don't think I typed about Onegin, but the main thing I wanted to do in any case was clone about 100 of me and have us stand arranged so that if you saw us from above, it spelled WTF. Not about Hampson, who had good moments and bad (the Russian displays a positively Puerto Rican relationship with the consonant kingdom, but he basically gets the character), nor certainly about Mattila, who sang the letter precisely as it is meant to be sung. Oh, not Beczala, either. Fine showing. I thought he sounded strained in Lucia last year but am beginning to suspect he's the Next Big Tenor Thing.
No, ladies and germs, my WTF is reserved for Mr. Richard Bernstein, the evening's Zaretzky, and tucked into its what-the-fuckish abbreviationality, it carries the condensed message: why on earth are you singing tiny roles, man?! This can only be an "I wanted my weekends free" raise-the-kids kind of lifestyle choice, it seems to me, because the voice is objectively of such fine quality. Also he looks like a Jewish fratboy all growed up, but in a good way. (I lived across the street from the SAM house in college. Only time I've ever had a fond thought about basketball, or, say, used binoculars to watch it.)
Well you know where I'm going? I'm marching straight over to his website to see if maybe he takes a bunch of gigs in some other city or something. Won't you come with? Oh, uh huh. See? This season it looks like he has covered a bunch of stuff, for one thing. I hear you can make a living that way and potentially never have to put a wig on. And then he did a shitload of Raimondos at Central City, which is almost certainly in one of those states with more outdoors than indoors where people choose to spend their summers even if they're not singing Raimondo, which most people aren't.
Well, as that great opera fan Chernyshevsky once asked, what's to be done? Either he sings tertiary roles at the Met because he wants to or he sings tertiary roles at the Met because someone's an idiot. I'm not in a position to change anyone's mind and god knows I get no say in the world's idiot count, though I have been accused of adding to it. And that, as the bard wrote, cleans up the matter.