Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Little Nixie Divey
Current revival of Rusalka seems to me a must-see. In a way, since she's done it here before, least of it is that Fleming finds something in the role to sweep away the cobwebs of habit and mannerism (despite one uncanny vocal reference to her patented "Death to Maury" herky-jerky downward scale from "Je marche sur tous les chemins") and unleash her biggest and best voice, and what's more finds something mythical to connect with in the character to make us forget the perfume, the dessert, and the other trappings of diva-as-Diva. Act II was--despite above-referenced scale and a clunker high note from Sigmundsson--operatic excellence from start to finish. I'm puzzled by the lack of love for Goerke at calls, and gratified by the outpouring for Antonenko, both of whom sang with a brashness I haven't heard recently, encouraged in this by Belohlavek in the pit. Let me not leave out Stephanie Blythe, and forgive me for borrowing last year's internet slang. As Jezibaba, she is EPIC. More later? Eh, probably not. I'll add lastly that it's a profoundly traditional, pretty if dim production with nary a sarcastic dirndl in sight.