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Thread: I Puritani, Metropolitan Opera

          
   
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  1. #1
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    I Puritani, Metropolitan Opera

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    I Puritani, opera in three acts, premiered at the Théâtre Italien, Paris, 1835
    Music by Vincenzo Bellini
    Libretto by Carlo Pepoli, based on the French play Têtes Rondes et Cavaliers, in its turn based on Sir Walter Scott's novel Old Mortality

    Metropolitan Opera House, performance of May 3, 2014 (55th Met performance of this piece)
    Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
    Conductor: Michele Mariotti
    Chorus Master: Donald Palumbo

    Cast

    Elvira: Olga Peretyatko
    Arturo: Lawrence Brownlee
    Riccardo: Mariusz Kwiecien
    Giorgio: Michele Pertusi
    Sir Bruno Robertson: Eduardo Valdes
    Gualtiero: David Crawford
    Enrichetta: Elizabeth Bishop

    The Production Team

    Production: Sandro Sequi
    Stage Director: Sarah Ina Meyers
    Set Designer: Ming Cho Lee
    Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
    Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler

    ---------

    There isn't much to say about this Puritani production, in terms of sets and stage direction. It is as veteran as it can be: 38 years old (curiously, much older than the charming leading soprano). It is serviceable, with traditional sets that are realistic enough, and good costumes - but certainly, imagination is not one of its strengths.

    Young Italian maestro Michele Mariotti did an excellent job, and obviously he has good chemistry with his Elvira, given that the singer is his wife!

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    Talking about her, what a beauty! Ms. Peretyatko's stunning looks illuminated the stage in every scene. Vocally, her voice is not big - but unlike the casual fan, we seasoned opera goers know that volume is not all, since technical precision, elegance, musicality, and timbre are more important. Singing loudly doesn't necessarily mean singing beautifully, and Olga can sing! She very much charmed the audience, and this is going on, according to accounts in blogs and newspapers, throughout the run. New York City may have discovered another favorite soprano, and I anticipate that the Met will be re-hiring her again and again. The Washington DC public will soon be treated to Ms. Peretyatko, who after finishing this run that still goes on for two more shows (May 7 and May 10) goes back to Europe, but visits the United States again in September as Giulietta in The Washington Concert Opera's production of I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

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    Two other stars of first magnitude contributed to the musical excellence of this matinée - the formidable American tenor Larry Brownlee, always a pleasure to hear with his masterful bel canto delivery, and the powerful and well modulated baritone instrument of Met's favorite Mariusz Kiewcien. Surprisingly, the singer is ill and has been battling an upper respiratory infection for several days, which prevented him from singing all performances. One wouldn't say. I didn't notice anything, until I met him backstage and he was hoarse and coughing! It is quite amazing how these singers can soldier on even when they aren't in top shape.

    Comprimarios were all more than correct, making for a vocally very homogenous cast with no weak links. My seat companion to the right was a veteran opera fan from Milan, Italy, an older gentleman who was visiting New York City and the Met for the first time in his life, after decades of La Scala seasons. He was extremely impressed with the cast, and made a point of how the quality was high across the board. His 11-year-old niece seemed to have liked the show as well - the new generation of opera fans is rising!

    In spite of the bland production, this show still earns our A+ rating, given the musical values.

    Stay tuned for Opera Lively's exclusive interview with Olga Peretyatko, coming soon.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); May 6th, 2014 at 01:28 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #2
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I would very much have liked to see this with Lawrence Brownlee instead of Eric Cutler who is on the DVD.

    I first noticed Olga Peretyatko in the video of Sigismondo and thought she was lovely. So much that I watched it twice on the plane and bought it when I got back (Daniela Barcellona might have been a bit influential in this decision too).
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Now with production pictures, courtesy of the Met Press Department:

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    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #4
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  5. #5
    Junior Member Recent member
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    I love those pictures. It looks just how an evening at the opera is supposed to look.

    If the prima donna is younger than the production that's likely to be a good thing!

  6. #6
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    I love those pictures. It looks just how an evening at the opera is supposed to look.

    If the prima donna is younger than the production that's likely to be a good thing!
    To be honest this production irritates me. I mean it is pretending to be historically accurate and traditional, but most of the cast are supposed to be PURITANS, severe and austere. The only one who gets to have any lace and frill-frolls is Arturo, everyone else should look like this:

    Natalie

  7. #7
    Junior Member Recent member
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    Really? It irritates you? Macbeth (or what you will) with men in lounge suits. That irritates me!

    Perhaps I'm shallow, but I'm happy to forego some historical accuracy if it looks good.

  8. #8
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    To be honest this production irritates me. I mean it is pretending to be historically accurate and traditional, but most of the cast are supposed to be PURITANS, severe and austere. The only one who gets to have any lace and frill-frolls is Arturo, everyone else should look like this:

    But, Nat, everyone knows those Puritans weren't any fun. Besides, the above Puritans are in New York (you know, New York, New York), not Massachusetts, so they have to look good.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    I love those pictures. It looks just how an evening at the opera is supposed to look.

    If the prima donna is younger than the production that's likely to be a good thing!
    This was an absolutely beautiful production and I was thrilled, it was everything I dreamed about for I Puritani (despite being one of my favourite operas it was the first time I saw it). If it gets recycled around the world for another 38 years I am sure I will see it again.
    An opera memory treasure for both the wife (now her favourite opera) and I.

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