18 April 2006

Karita Mattila, off da hook

Wagner LOHENGRIN, Met 17.IV.2006; c. Auguin; Mattila, Heppner, DeVol (debut), Fink, Greenan, Schulte.

I've never heard Karita Mattila sing more beautifully: her Elsa, model of technical acuity, is just ravishing. Wagner's long, high-lying lines permit her voice to expand and bloom with that cool vibrato and elegant seam. Never once did her voice falter, even slightly, or show any hint of strain-- unbelievable, really. Note-perfect; a voice of impressive subtlety; pianissimos of sweet sadness that melt the air, and fortissimos that ride over the Met's gigantic chorus without struggle; mastery of the stylized Wilson histrionics (which I love, by the way); that face of cool pain: tall trunk, full bosom, nice hair; oh she blows me away. Could this be her finest creation so far? Her Salome (which burns my iPod at least once a week, suitable for a power run on the beach) remains a homerun of homeruns, but this Elsa displays all aspects of her artistry on a true Silbersch├╝ssel. I'm hoarse today from screaming the loudest bravas I could organize for her thunderous curtain call. It was loud, baby. Sick loud.