You really didn’t think your doyenne would let a top-secret dress rehearsal at the Met slip away without getting an exclusive on-the-scene report for you, the cher public? Now, did you? Well, if you did, you’re wrong, because La Cieca’s mole (pictured) has filed the following report:
The Machine worked very well; a few lighting problems, but nothing unsolvable. The set has many more possibilities than one would have assumed from Rheingold. Many striking images.
Westbroek and Kaufmann will bring the house down, not only for their superb singing, but for their total immersion into their respective roles. Example: when they first look into each others’ eyes early in Act 1 is a moment of true magic. Kaufmann is not the biggest voiced Siegmund we’ve ever heard, but he may be the most musical. Köing is also most impressive.
Terfel succeeds on some levels and not on others. He blusters his way through the full forte sections, sometimes impressively, sometimes pushing for all he’s worth. It’s the quiet moments he’s not equipped to deliver. The part is too low for him to have much projection in much of the big scene with Brünnhilde. His “Das Ende” moment went for nothing. He looks much better than he did in Rheingold. The hair covering half is face is gone, replaced by a traditional eye patch.
Voigt – what can I say! She should not have undertaken this role. She does not disgrace herself on the battle cry, but she doesn’t come close to covering herself in glory in the rest of the role. The unknowing public will accept her because she looks good and moves well. It’s just the singing that’s lacking.
Blythe was a force of nature as Fricka. Her entrance is spectacular. She never moves from the “throne” on which she enters (she’s harnessed into it so as not to fall forward).
I felt Levine was accommodating to both Voigt and Terfel in helping them get through passages they weren’t equipped to do full justice to. He seemed quite energetic from my vantage point (naturally sitting the entire time) and got his usual fine playing from the orchestra.
The Valkyries were a mixed lot, as usual. They certainly were loud!
I can already hear your chat room on Friday night. The usual shredding of everything will occur – some deserved, some not. One really needs to see this production to be able to accurately evaluate it.
La Cieca has also heard vague rumors about at least some portion of the rehearsal being recorded covertly and uploaded to the internet; she will try to track down this mysterious (possibly apocryphal) sound file.