Cher Public

Chat: Le nozze di Figaro

AbbeyHere’s your place to chat, cher public, during tonight’s Met broadcast of Le nozze di Figaro, beginning at 7:30 PM.

  • Rowna

    Greetings Parterrati: I am here. But just for the combined acts one and 2.

  • laddie

    Enjoying Anita Hartig!

    • Rowna

      Me too. So far the star of the evening. I am most interested in hearing the Countess sing her big Act 2 aria. This is a major talent. I hope she delivers. She is very promising.

  • laddie

    Petrenko sounds rather labored as a Figaro. Now for the Countess!

    • Rowna

      Medium for the Countess IMHO

      • laddie

        I heard nerves. Nice voice but inexperience showing.

    • Gualtier M

      Petrenko seven or eight years ago with the Kirov-Maryinsky had a promising lyric bass. Since then he has sounded like a strangled muffled when not inaudible comprimario, not good enough for the Met chorus. He was bad as Galitzky in “Prince Igor” among an underpowered lower voice male contingent and also sounded bad in “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” but so did Nadja Michael and his part was shorter and both were so totally visually riveting in their parts, it didn’t matter. Really there is no one better out there? Where was his personal triumph that would make him worthy of a leading bass role at the Met? I am puzzled.

      Why does the Met continue to hire him? I think he is Frere Laurent in the new production of “Romeo et Juliette”. Why no Vitaly Kowaljow or in Mozart Philippe Sly or Edwin Crossley-Mercer or dozens of American basses and bass-baritones? Even at this late date Richard Bernstein would be better.

  • oscar

    I heard her as Eva in Meistersinger last year. Gorgeous voice. She sounded here like she was holding back a bit.

    • laddie

      Exquisite timbre, I agree.

      • oscar

        I think she will improve as the evening progresses. Live, there’s a beautiful shimmer in her voice.

        • Rowna

          I think she has a chance for a wonderful career. But nerves will always get you.

          • oscar

            Isobel Leonard sounds so ordinary.

            • laddie

              worse than ordinary tonight. She has sung this better.

          • Gualtier M

            Rowna and all, Willis-Sorensen made her debut last season as the Countess in the second cast of the “Nozze” during its premiere season. At the time she was several months pregnant with twins which I am pretty sure she has since delivered.

            Willis-Sorensen had a lovely, warm, billowing and quite large soprano that seemed a little constrained by the filigree of Countess Almaviva’s music. I looked at her resume and there was lots of Eva, Elsa and Elisabeth. My feeling was that Mozart was a brief byway on the road to the grander glories of Strauss and Wagner and this Contessa Almaviva (and Donnas Elvira and Anna and whatnot) were going to be left by the wayside shortly in favor of the jugendlich heldensopran repertory.

            BTW: the Met can no longer draw on a deep bench of talented Mozarteans as it could twenty or thirty years ago. My first Met “Nozze” starred Donath as Susanna, Te Kanawa as the Countess, Von Stade in her last Cherubinos, Ramey as Figaro and Hynninen as the Count. Kurt Moll stepped in as Bartolo that season or the next. Others hanging around included a young Susanne Mentzer, Dawn Upshaw, Hei-Kyung Hong, Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Anne Sofie Von Otter and Carol Vaness among many others.

            In that second cast last year we got a blankly narcissistic pair of servants in Erwin Schrott and Danielle De Niese. Schrott spent more time posing in his tight striped vest than registering jealousy and dismay at his fiancée’s possible sexual entrapment and De Niese did her share of pop-eyed posing as well. Her “Deh vieni non tardar” was frankly uncouth with unsupported shaky legato and shrill top notes. Bring back Joyce Guyer or Korliss Uecker, pronto. Willis-Sorensen was much smoother and lovelier of tone as the Contessa than Amanda Majeski was in the Fall run and seemed like a find.

            • armerjacquino

              We’re not exactly short of Mozart singers. At Covent Garden, for example, the McVicar production has had Persson, Kurzak and Crowe as its Susanna since it opened, all significant singers with nothing to fear by comparison to past artists. Pisaroni and D’Arcangelo and Mattei are hardly chopped liver either.

              Willis Sorensen sang the Countess in that production a few years back, too, which was surprising given that she hadn’t really sung in any major houses at that point. I think she was pretty well received though, and her subsequent success has made it look like a canny piece of casting.

  • Rowna

    Night all. I have to watch a TV show with Mr. Opera. Traditions must be upheld. Enjoy the rest of the night. So far Hartig the star.

    • laddie

      Good bye Rowna. I am leaving too, have to pack for a trip.

  • laddie

    Wow what a train wreck of a second act. I think I want my money back if I’m in the seats.

  • armerjacquino

    Quarter past two in the am here, just home from a post-work party and having a last gin before bed… Anyone else here? And is it worth listening to Act 3?

    • armerjacquino

      I have my answer. A letto, a letto.

  • javier

    I listened to some of this while driving home from work. terrible. such an awful voice for a countess. is she supposed to be a soprano? what the heck…

  • DeepSouthSenior

    I was in the hall for The Marriage of Figaro last night, and am in my hotel room this morning. I’ll say only a couple of positive things, not wishing to speak ill of the dearly departed, performance-wise. (Besides, it’s not worth the effort on my iPad.) One should make some hefty concessions for opening-night jitters and the expected problems of ensemble balance in a new cast.

    This recent Richard Eyre production seems to be maturing rather nicely. I liked the Erector set, faux wood panel and wrought iron castle on the Lazy Susan turntable in Live in HD, and even more in the hall. Costumes were fine for c.1930 (ish).The stage “business” bordered on the excessive at times but was redeemed by the cast’s fine comic timing. I can understand your disappointment if you only heard the broadcast. Visuals are essential to this production; it’s your call whether that’s a bad thing.

    Comments on two of the singers. I like Luca Pisaroni, period. Last night he was an outstanding Count, in acting as well as voice. No Peter Mattei snarl, but delightfully bemused and befuddled. Regularly randy and rarely regal, just as the role requires. His is not a voice of great weight and power, but it was both subtle and strong as needed.

    And then there’s Anita Hartig. What an operatic treasure she is! Having seen her only as a moving Liu last month on HD, and read of her Michaela and Mimi, I wondered if she could be a flexible and sassy Susanna. She was all that and much more. By turns happy, flirty, pouty, and angry, with a sure command of the role and one of the most pleasing new voices in years, she was an absolute delight the whole long evening. She was the center of attention every moment she was on stage. In my opinion, only Pisaroni came close in charisma. Hartig is a gem, a jewel, a pearl, and a major babe (can I say that at Parterre?). Ok, I admit it -- I am smitten.

    Overall performance last night: B. Conductor Fabio Luisi: B (Slightly too brisk for my taste. Is perfect tempo in Figaro as elusive as the Holy Grail?) Ensemble as a whole: B+ Pisaroni: A- Hartig: A.

    • Rowna

      Thank you DeepSouth. No mention of the Countess. How did she sound in the house?

      • DeepSouthSenior

        Nervous, brittle, and harsh at times. I expect she’ll get smoother and more secure as the run progresses.

    • Bill

      Mr. Deep South -- perfect tempo in Figaro -- try Krips for starters, Boehm, Karajan live, Furtwaengler (a bit on the slow side but boy does he hold the orchestra
      and singers together masterfully) -- I think Levine was an excellent conductor for Figaro in his prime. All used a fuller orchestra than sometimes in the mode these days
      and all took care that the ensembles would mesh and flow
      sonorously. Glad you like Hartig.

      • PCally

        Bill-I also prefer the slower old school style myself but I happen to think Luisi does quite well by Mozart because though he is brisk he doesn’t do “Mozart Light” like some conductors do these days. His Don Giovanni a few seasons ago had a pulse and a forward momentum that was really exciting IMO.

        I worship Bohm but I have to say that Don Giovanni aside I find most of his Mozart to be rather dull. Exceptionally slow and without the energy that someone like Furtwangler had at his best. Karajan had the same problem in the latter have of his career. His second Don is just awful.

    • PCally

      Saw her as Susanna at the ROH this season (opening night) and she stole the show. A lovely singer who I hope to see more of.

  • Operanaut

    Listened to the broadcast -- most of it anyway. Quite ragged outing, with Pisaroni and Hartig the only standouts. Petrenko had zero charm as Figaro and sounded wooden and charmless. Even heard some problems with the usually reliable chorus. Glad I saw this production last season with Mattei, Majeski, Abdrazakov et al.

  • The Poet Lenski

    I listened to part of the broadcast via live-stream last night. There were some connectivity issues but I was able to get through most of the first two acts. Hartig is a star, and Pisaroni is as wonderful as the Count as he was as Figaro. Isabel Leonard’s success (a fait accompli if I’ve ever seen one) has always baffled me, and last night’s performance perfectly showed why. To call her ordinary is rather kind. The Countess was nothing special and Petrenko should steer clear of Mozart. I thought Luisi’s conducting was fine. Was it just me or did Mentzer’s voice sound considerably worse for the wear compared with last season’s outing?

    • oscar

      I have a feeling that Willis-Sorensen was ill last night. I heard her live as Eva in Meistersinger last year and she was quite wonderful. It’s a gorgeous voice and she’s a good actress. Her broadcast Countess from the Met a couple of years ago was much better than last night. Last night was definitely an off night for her.

      • The Poet Lenski

        Willis-Sorenson only made her Met debut last year, in the second cast. Is that the broadcast you were referring to that was supposedly better?

        • oscar

          Lenski, the broadcast was December 20th, 2014 so it wasn’t technically last year but if you meant last season, you were correct.

          • The Poet Lenski

            Yes, I meant last season. Also, most people wouldn’t refer to 14 months as “a couple of years ago,” so I wasn’t sure if you were actually thinking of something else.

  • DeepSouthSenior

    One more comment before heading yo NY Phil. this afternoon and Vienna Phil. at Carnegie Hall tonight. Last night, Petrenko looked like Shemp Howard. Sorry, I could hardly get past it. And, even worse, sometimes he sounded like Harpo Marx. (And I was on Orchestra Left, F-9.)