Sunday, April 27, 2014

Met HD Così

We took in the Met's HD showing of Così fan tutte and it certainly lives up to its notices: it's a bravura performance and the star of the show is James Levine, powering both the orchestra and the cast with a grit and drive that I've never seen before. Someone in an intermission interview said that it's the rhythm and I bet that's right: for such a spare and elegant story there are some fiercely complicated intertwinings in the score and it's possible for even the best of singers to get lost in a puddle. Not so here: everything fit together. The Levine story is an opera-sized story itself, of course: after two hers, during which most people thought we'd never see him conduct again here he is back again, evidently to show himself that he's still got it and that he is determined to squeeze the juice out of any chance that remains to be offered him.

The singing itself was fine, but that's the thing: I've seen better. I still think Cecelia Bartoli owns Despina and  I'd say that Paolo Montarsolo brings a dark elegance to Don Alfonso that his hard to match.  The only one in the current cast who seems so exactly suited to his role would be Rodion Pogossov as Gugliemo.  But it hardly mattered; Levine (or whoever it was) succeeded in teasing a fully realized performance out of everybody on the stage.  It must be a delight--and a challenge--to work for this guy.

No comments: