28 August 2007

Mom, she's all over my tickets!

What supreme pressure. To be on ALL the tickets for the entire season. If she ever cancels one Lucia, we'd all be like "the gall to still show up on my ticket!" Months into the season, we'd be reminded of her performance every time we pull our tickets out at the door. Natalie Dessay shall still be there, looking all heroine-chic in a madness of off-white and a touch of cobweb. I would like to see her succeed, of course. But bel canto, a fiercely followed subcult, has an especially luminous and familiar lineage, their disciples vicious and unforgiving. Ruth Ann Swenson, our spurned bel cantist and the last authentic practitioner to grace our stage (I'm skipping over Futral, much as I love her), had ... excuse me Mr. Gelb, has the stuff to pull it off. I know Dessay has that stuff too, but I fear in the same way that Voigt has the stuff to do Italian roles. If anything, her challenge would be to imbue the voice with air of (latin) vulnerability, a quality I've yet to fully sense in anything of her I've heard thus far (including a Sonnambula in 2001, my one La Scala visit). All this is putting the mad scene before the love duet, I admit, so feel free to sniff and move along. But the Met has chosen to exult her ascendance with the a kind of omnipresence that ad agencies deploy for sneakers and diet soda, and so expectations can only be high. I mean, she's on all my tickets, what can I say.

[Oh, I'm seeing it five times; there's Giordani, Massis, and Filianoti to check out too, after all.]