29 December 2006

Spin City

The New York Times review of the I Puritani by premier critic and starfucker Anthony Tommasini is full of crap. First, he calls me a purist; thinks fast notes are stupid anyway: "Bel Canto purists may find fault with (Anna Netrebko's) sometimes imprecise execution of coloratura runs and roulades. But I admired her way of treating florid passagework as organic extensions of an arching vocal line, not as a series of fast notes to be nailed with cool accuracy." He lowers the bar without apology: "It is best for Bellini buffs to forget for now that when this production was new, the four leads were Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes and James Morris. Today we have Ms. Netrebko to be thankful for." He makes up an excuse even the diva won't touch: "In a recent interview Ms. Netrebko criticized her own tendency to let her pitch turn sharp. She is being hard on herself. She sings with such a focused vibrato that even a slight wavering of pitch stands out more than it would with a soprano whose thick vibrato masks imperfections." Best of all, he admires courage over all other musical traits: "A couple of top notes might have been shaky, but what mattered more was the courageous intensity of her singing." Upon this Met press release, Anna Netrebko's bel canto career takes a decisive push forward. I'm feeling nauseous.