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    Otello Met live in HD

    So, did anyone go yesterday?

    I did, and I must admit I was disappointed..I read reviews saying that this is Renee Flemings best role ever, that Iago is great...but, for some reason I wasn't thrilled at all..and was not the only one. In my opinion Falk Struckmann was yelling too much, and he struggled a lot, at least it looked like that to me. I don't like his technique nor the faces he makes while he sings. Is it the technique or acting, I don't know but I didn't like it. Ms. Fleming was ok. I think that she was the best in the third act, I had a feeling she wasn't really there, mentally, like she wasn't really in the mood. Sometimes I would ask myself is she ok, I had a feeling she wasn't really warmed up and that her voice was ''smaller'' then usually..I watched her last season in Rodelinda and thought she was good, but this time I missed something..I don't want to say anything about Johan Botha since he was ill..he did deliver a good performance if you take in account that he wasn't the healthiest...the scenography was fine and the costumes standard..I had a feeling that the orchestra was too loud..or Ms. Fleming just didn't deliver..I expected I would be blown away, but I wasn't. I could say it was ok..but surely not the best performance at the Met I've seen..

    your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Operabug View Post
    So, did anyone go yesterday?

    I did, and I must admit I was disappointed..I read reviews saying that this is Renee Flemings best role ever, that Iago is great...but, for some reason I wasn't thrilled at all..and was not the only one. In my opinion Falk Struckmann was yelling too much, and he struggled a lot, at least it looked like that to me. I don't like his technique nor the faces he makes while he sings. Is it the technique or acting, I don't know but I didn't like it. Ms. Fleming was ok. I think that she was the best in the third act, I had a feeling she wasn't really there, mentally, like she wasn't really in the mood. Sometimes I would ask myself is she ok, I had a feeling she wasn't really warmed up and that her voice was ''smaller'' then usually..I watched her last season in Rodelinda and thought she was good, but this time I missed something..I don't want to say anything about Johan Botha since he was ill..he did deliver a good performance if you take in account that he wasn't the healthiest...the scenography was fine and the costumes standard..I had a feeling that the orchestra was too loud..or Ms. Fleming just didn't deliver..I expected I would be blown away, but I wasn't. I could say it was ok..but surely not the best performance at the Met I've seen..

    your thoughts?
    I didn't, because I have tickets to go and watch this production live at the Met later this season... with a different cast, though. My ticket is for a performance that will have Krassimira Stoyanova (I don't know her, what should I expect?) Josť Cura, Alexey Dolgov, and Thomas Hampson (I like the latter a lot ever since our interview with him and backstage visit plus email exchanges - he says he reads Opera Lively whenever he finds the time, we're honored).
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #3
    Schigolch
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    Stoyanova is a good Desdemona.


  4. #4
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I didn't, because I have tickets to go and watch this production live at the Met later this season... with a different cast, though. My ticket is for a performance that will have Krassimira Stoyanova (I don't know her, what should I expect?)
    I realy like this soprano. And I don't usually like sopranos.

    But I'm sure you do know her, because she is Rachel in this:

    Natalie

  5. #5
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Operabug View Post
    So, did anyone go yesterday?

    I did, and I must admit I was disappointed..I read reviews saying that this is Renee Flemings best role ever, that Iago is great...but, for some reason I wasn't thrilled at all..and was not the only one. In my opinion Falk Struckmann was yelling too much, and he struggled a lot, at least it looked like that to me. I don't like his technique nor the faces he makes while he sings. Is it the technique or acting, I don't know but I didn't like it. Ms. Fleming was ok. I think that she was the best in the third act, I had a feeling she wasn't really there, mentally, like she wasn't really in the mood. Sometimes I would ask myself is she ok, I had a feeling she wasn't really warmed up and that her voice was ''smaller'' then usually..I watched her last season in Rodelinda and thought she was good, but this time I missed something..I don't want to say anything about Johan Botha since he was ill..he did deliver a good performance if you take in account that he wasn't the healthiest...the scenography was fine and the costumes standard..I had a feeling that the orchestra was too loud..or Ms. Fleming just didn't deliver..I expected I would be blown away, but I wasn't. I could say it was ok..but surely not the best performance at the Met I've seen..

    your thoughts?
    I've been wavering about this. I thought nonono. not Botha as Otello, he can't act for toffee, and I've already seen Fleming in this role on DVD. Then someone on another forum went and thought it was great. But it was his first Otello. And now your review confirms what I thought all along. So I think I'll save my money.

    I would have gone for the cast that Alma's going to see live.
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; October 28th, 2012 at 08:06 PM.
    Natalie

  6. #6
    Schigolch
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    I have watched live both Mr. Botha (at the MET) and Mr. Cura (at Teatro Real & Liceu) singing Otello.

    Frankly, I don't think Mr Cura can really *sing* the role nowadays.



    About Mr. Botha, he is more an spinto than a dramatic tenor, but all in all he has the voice. True, his Otello is not as "cantabile" as it should be. We are missing many nuances, he is not an example of "italianita". But he is a decent Otello.

  7. #7
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Stoyanova is a good Desdemona.
    I think she's wonderful in this production:



    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Frankly, I don't think Mr Cura can really *sing* the role nowadays.
    Based on the DVD above, I don't think he ever could.

  8. #8
    Schigolch
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    I watched it live at Liceu, several years ago.

    Back to 1999, he was somewhat better.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); January 6th, 2018 at 03:17 PM.

  9. #9
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    Botha was really not that bad. But I agree that he's not the best choice for Otello..

  10. #10
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Cura exasperates me.

    He's got the voice (or had it). He's got the intensity and the acting. He's got the looks. So why didn't he get himself a good technique? It's just arrogance and "I know better so I don't need a teacher". Such a waste.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); January 6th, 2018 at 03:17 PM.
    Natalie

  11. #11
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    I didn't watch the HD, while I did go to the performance on the night of Oct. 13. Botha was sick that night and was covered by Amonov. The star that night was surely Renee Fleming. Half the house was crying during the willow scene. Heard from family circle, Renee had a very good projection that full the house even when it's piano, while in the Rodelinda last season, I felt her projection was kinda weak (I was at upper balcony that night), which may due to the nature of baroque style. I would say the experience was great and I felt extremely lucky to catch her singing this her signature role in maybe the final run in MET (according to NYT) live.

    For the other casts, Amonov did it fine, but nothing miracle like "the born of a new star" happened. Struckmann did a good job. Personally, I think a little bit more yelling could go well for such a role. However, I didn't find he stole the show as described by NYT for the opening night. James Morris was in good shape! I didn't pay any attention on who sang this small role of Lodovico, but was impressed by the sound (thinking he's in better condition than what I heard in Don Giovani this March in MET), then realized it's him!

    While all these were happened on Oct. 13, and two weeks could be a lot different...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I didn't, because I have tickets to go and watch this production live at the Met later this season... with a different cast, though. My ticket is for a performance that will have Krassimira Stoyanova (I don't know her, what should I expect?) Josť Cura, Alexey Dolgov, and Thomas Hampson (I like the latter a lot ever since our interview with him and backstage visit plus email exchanges - he says he reads Opera Lively whenever he finds the time, we're honored).
    Stoyanova is currently doing Simon Boccanegra together with Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto (I love him!!!) and Frank Lopardo in Lyric Chicago. I watched one performance and thought she has a good lyric voice. I don't know why, but I have the feeling that she would approach Desdemona very differently (a younger wife?) with what Ms. Fleming did.

    Mr. Hampson is very intelligent on-stage and very kind off-stage. He could always get the right things. Though I always find him lacking a little bit fire on opera stage. Maybe that's why he's considered as one of the top singers nowadays, but never get a (somehow) blooming star statu? I would say he's a better lieder singer than an opera performer. (Just to make it clear, I still admire his performance on opera stage a lot, and think he's among the best.)

    For Jose Cura, I had a bad memory on him. It was in about 2007, when he was invited to Shanghai to sing Calaf in Turandot. It appeared to me that he didn't pay all his attention, and knowing that if he sing a good Nessun Dorma, the audience would be satisfied. He did do a very good Nessun Durma, but all else were in a much lower level, which, I'm afraid, was caused by his attitude rather than his ability. But this would not be very possible in MET, right? And, after all, Otello doesn't have a spot like Nessun Durma that can almost decide audience's satisfying.

    So, it could be a very different result with the cast next year. I'm looking forward to your report.

  13. #13
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yige View Post
    Stoyanova is currently doing Simon Boccanegra together with Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto (I love him!!!) and Frank Lopardo in Lyric Chicago. I watched one performance and thought she has a good lyric voice. I don't know why, but I have the feeling that she would approach Desdemona very differently (a younger wife?) with what Ms. Fleming did.

    Mr. Hampson is very intelligent on-stage and very kind off-stage. He could always get the right things. Though I always find him lacking a little bit fire on opera stage. Maybe that's why he's considered as one of the top singers nowadays, but never get a (somehow) blooming star statu? I would say he's a better lieder singer than an opera performer. (Just to make it clear, I still admire his performance on opera stage a lot, and think he's among the best.)

    For Jose Cura, I had a bad memory on him. It was in about 2007, when he was invited to Shanghai to sing Calaf in Turandot. It appeared to me that he didn't pay all his attention, and knowing that if he sing a good Nessun Dorma, the audience would be satisfied. He did do a very good Nessun Durma, but all else were in a much lower level, which, I'm afraid, was caused by his attitude rather than his ability. But this would not be very possible in MET, right? And, after all, Otello doesn't have a spot like Nessun Durma that can almost decide audience's satisfying.

    So, it could be a very different result with the cast next year. I'm looking forward to your report.
    Josť Cura, I'm definitely not a fan. Well, Thomas Hampson is capable of dynamic acting as well, I've seen him doing well in this regard. Great, I'm glad that Stoyanova is good.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  14. #14
    Opera Lively's Journalist Involved Member Elektra's Avatar
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    I watched it. Botha was OK, but... you know. Same impression all the time.
    I really liked Cassio - Michael Fabiano!

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