Saturday, April 09, 2011


Okay, review the bidding: at 1225 est today, Juan Diego Flórez became a father for the first time; at 330 or thereabouts, he was cavorting in a threesome with two world-class sopranos (neither the new mother)--and this before a galaxy-wide audience. It's all in the interest of art and in particular, of Rossini's Comte Ory which premiered at the Met earlier this year as an occasion to showcase its most popular comic tenor. He was on stage by a bit after one.  It was the first baby for Flórez, the second performance for us (we were at the Met premier a couple of weeks ago; today was the HD Theatre version back home in Palookaville).  Once again, the word for the HD is "different."  You see less of the comic choreography of the bedroom finale, more of the comic rubberfacing of Joyce DiDonato (Diana Damrau may be a better singer but DiDonato is a more engaging actress).  And on this second time around you get--I got--a sense of how really challenging this music is for all three of them--deceptive because it has almost no bravura arias, just constant conversation throughout.  I gather Bart Sher is taking some flac for the supposed excesses of the staging but I'm not buying that line at all.  Putting it all onto a period stage was entirely in keeping with the good-natured comedy of it all and it left you free to recognize what is, for all its surface fluff, actually a highly sophisticated piece of work with Italian comedy, French farce, and Gallic wit.

The baby: Leandro.  Papa did not show pictures.  The mama: Flórez' wife of four years, the German/Australian Julia Trappe (one Peruvian website called her: "Tropper"--phonetic?).  She stayed home.

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