14 October 2009

She's back

STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier, Met 13 October 2009; c. de Waart, Fleming, Graham, Persson, Sigmundsson, White, Ketelsen, Vargas.

Curtain up: things have settled enough for Sieglinde to reboot. I'm seeing an equilibrium based on (really) short posts, but it's still being calibrated, so patience please. Last night, the return of Renee Fleming's Feldmarschallin and Susan Graham's Octavian, and a debut of a promising soprano, Miah Persson as Sophie, ethereal in a Judith Blegen hue. I'm dreading the day when I can detect the inevitable pulling back in Renee's voice. My current (conservative) diagnosis: it'll be sometime after April of 2017. Plus, you know how whatever Renee is singing currently becomes just THAT role divinely written for her: I'd say it, but that would be boring. One minor quibble: she is taking more time to warm up. Susan Graham's voice has grown tremendously in size in recent years, and the colors are thrilling. The chemistry between these ladies' voices is akin to baseball's Rodriguez-Teixeira tandem (BTW, Go Yankees.). Kristinn Sigmundsson is one of the evening's weak links. I'm not particularly aroused by Ochs' frequent interruptions, so to have a bland bass for the evening is torture times two. Meanwhile, Ramon Vargas probably had his worst outing on the Met stage as the Italian Singer. The unadorned oasis that the aria was to be didn't be. Really, it was physically painful to hear. Finally, all together now: Jimmy get well soon. Maestro Edo de Waart was either conducting or mowing the lawn, I couldn't tell.