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Woman on the verge

Anna Netrebko sings “Sola, perduta, abbandonata” from Manon Lescaut at the Rome Opera, Riccardo Muti conducting.

46 comments

  • coloraturafan says:

    • Porgy Amor says:

      My favorite part of the Scala DVD of Manon Lescaut is the intermezzo, a good visual document of Muti at work. No preening for the cameras, nothing flamboyant, just firm, clear, precise gestures serving an interpretation of delicate beauty. I especially like the way he brings it to down and to a close in the final bars; this is difficult to describe without a visual example, but it’s very controlled, and words such as “patrician” and “aristocratic” may come to mind. That this is my favorite part of the performance either means I’m a conducting geek or Guleghina and Cura (better in ’98 than they would be later) are not my dream team in this opera, or both. Cavani’s production too is a bit disappointing after her equally traditional but finely detailed Scala Traviata

    • Cicciabella says:

      We are indebted to you, coloraturafan. Netrekbo is truly fantastic in this, especially in Act IV. The role is a perfect fit for her. Muti conducts the score with great transparency and plenty of dramatic colour, but I find his tempi very slow. The Rome audience did not hide their disapproval of him, I believe. The slow pace totally undermines Tu, tu amore tu, where Netrebko is the least successful. And you can’t put on Manon Lescaut without a tenor. I can only hope that the poor guy had a very off night.

    • Camille says:

      Thank you very much indeed for having posted his in its entirety, coloraturafan. Very much appreciated, especially as this is a favorite opera of mine.

  • This is nice! I am not sure about you guys, but there is something in Netrebko’s voice and style of singing that reminds me of Sass, not in a bad way mind you

    • MontyNostry says:

      I see what you mean, Lindoro, though I think Sass had more temperament in her sound, somehow -- though she was a good deal less comfortable to listen to.

  • armerjacquino says:

    Just listening to it now. Dear God, this is good.

  • Constantine A. Papas says:

    Maybe Netrebko’s “inas” weren’t perfect but prepared her for what she’s doing now. Souliotis, another “new Callas,” sang Lady Macbeth in her 20s, and a few years later both she and voice were gone.

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      But Netrebko is c.43, and nobody is saying she should have been singing Lady Macbeth all along -- rather that there would have been a happy medium, where she might have dropped the lighter roles sooner and concentrated more on Verdi, Puccini and perhaps lyric Wagner and Strauss over the last 8-ish years, repertoire she has only very recently turned to. I think Lady Macbeth, if the role is right for her at all, is probably coming at exactly the right point.

  • Dabrowski says:

    There’s not much else to say. This is beautiful.

  • ML says:

    Does anyone know how Farnocchia did in the role tonight?

  • casualoperafan says:

    OK, minority opinion: It is lovely and well sung but I find it…. a bit…. monotonous. Sorry.

  • antikitschychick says:

    fabulous singing. Her voice is perfect for these types of Puccini roles…the climax around the four minute mark is to die for. Hopefully she will get to work with Muti on LM and use the extra time she has to prepare wisely.

    If the suits at DG are smart they’ll have her record a verismo album next. She can basically sing whatever she wants to now except for the heavy Wagner roles, but everything in the spinto rep is fair game.

    • kennedet says:

      My sentiments exactly anti.I never thought those ina-roles suited her whether she had the range/fiortura or not. I’m suprised these coaches,managers,etc. did not hear it in the voice earlier. It’s sounds like a “full-blown spinto currently.

      • antikitschychick says:

        evening kennedet :-) . I was going to respond to your post but I think Cocky K really hit the nail on the head with his comment above. Staying away from heavier roles (or putting them off for as long as she could) was a conscious decision on her part as much as it was anybody else’s, plus she had contractual obligations. Happily that doesn’t seem to be holding her back any longer. Dropping out of Faust was a definitive statement in terms of the trajectory she wants to take. Where I do think the managers and the coaches failed is in not pushing her or encouraging her to move to heavier rep sooner. Based on what she has said, she made the decision based on her own judgement and also based on input from fans…and she’s taking on LM against the advice of many apparently. It might not be a perfect role assumption in terms of the vocal demands but she will def sing her heart out and it’ll be an entertaining, if not interesting characterization imo.

        • kennedet says:

          This must be a mutual admiration society because I concur with Cocky also. My problem is hearing that dark quality in the ina roles. As I’ve stated before, the orchestration under these roles and the imbalance of the ensemble singing when the coloring is too rich on top causes problems in the beauty of the music.

          I understand lyric roles for an up and coming spinto but to perform the ina roles because she can master the range sounded strange to my ears. I know about Netrebko’s fame and the accolades because of how she performed them but I wonder if this sound will be the new standard if you want to sing these high roles and the early Roberta Peters,Bidu Sayou,Beverly Sills sound will be a “thing of the past”. I think there was a good reason why these divas were assigned these roles.

          • antikitschychick says:

            Ah yes I see what you’re saying. Mutual admiration society indeed lol. I think you have nothing to fear in terms of “a new standard” being developed for those lighter “ina” roles, as she was just doing her own thing. Everyone, including her, knew that they were not the ideal roles for how her voice developed but they were relatively easy and fun for her so she sang them. I don’t think that sort of thing will catch on though…or at least I hope it wont.

            • kennedet says:

              O.K., Thanks for those comforting words. Voice classification these days is a subject which is highly debatable. I know voice technicians who believe if you can sing it….that’s what you are. I knew of a director who told singers to keep your voice classification hidden until you find out what they are asking for because you might be able to sing the role. There are those who could care less about voice classification and think it’s not so important in today’s opera world. It smacks of not knowing who you are! How can you make vocal decisions about your voice??!!

            • antikitschychick says:

              “There are those who could care less about voice classification and think it’s not so important in today’s opera world. It smacks of not knowing who you are! How can you make vocal decisions about your voice??!!”

              Well, because like anything, these sorts of classifications are very subjective and debatable as you yourself say. Take AN for example, who doesn’t neatly fit into any one category at this point. Some say she is a full lyric, others are now saying she is a spinto…others try to merge the two categories together by saying she is a ‘dramatic lyric’. In a way everyone is wrong but everyone is also right, because there are certainly elements in her voice that point to all three of these classifications. What it really boils down to imho, is the range, depth and weight of the voice, esp in the middle register. All of these vocal categorizations such as lyric, dramatic, spinto serve as markers that signify where singers abilities lie but they have no intrinsic meaning other than that which is assigned/given to them by us. When there is a case such as AN’s, such categorizations are no longer useful in determining what roles or path the singer will take, in which case I agree there is no need to box her into any such categories..it just becomes superfluous.

              I do think that certain distinctions between voices need to be made, but I don’t think those distinctions necessarily warrant categorizations such as lyric, spinto, dramatic, etc. Just my two cents on the matter.

            • kennedet says:

              I don’t mean to belabour this discussion because we are actually agreeing most of the time. My primary point is voice classification is important. You can debate quality, timbre, range, etc. until eternity ends but let’s not disrespect it to the point that it isn’t important anymore or a “thing” of the past.

              I heard AN in her earlier recordings going toward a spinto sound as she matured, but based on my training, I heard it early in her development…. believing that most voices grow richer as they mature. Of course, no one asked me, but I would never have given her “ina” roles whether she could handle the range/fiortura or not. I thought the sound was much too dark for those roles. Yes, this is debatable but it’s based on the the concept of voice classification. You may hear different qualities of sound but after spending time and analyzing a student’s voice…there is a quality which dominates the entire range. You then, can make a better determination of voice classification.

            • antikitschychick says:

              Yeah I dont think we’re disagreeing at all lol. In terms voice color you’re absolutely right, that is really important and I did neglect to mention that. I think with AN its a little tricky though because while the lower and middle ranges are indeed quite dark (and heavy) the top isn’t because she doesn’t carry all that weight up there. Now a few top notes does not a role make so I am aware that the focus of role assignation should lie elsewhere.

              I guess what I am getting at is that singers are not always going to ascribe to those types of labels. Callas is prob the best example of that.

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    Ok, these videos/sound files are GONE!!!!!!!