Cher Public

Leading lady

“Though most of the reviews of last week’s Met’s revival of Bellini’s I Puritani concentrated on the singing of tenor Javier Camarena… we should not overlook his leading lady, soprano Diana Damrau. In a sense, she outshone even Camarena, because she not only sang the difficult leading role, she also directed the opera.” [Observer]

  • An interesting read. Thanks, JJ.

  • Leontiny

    Excellent and thoughtful piece. Thank you. And thanks for the mention of Ms Margaine who for me was a revelation as Carmen, vocally and physically.

  • Rosina Leckermaul

    It certainly is true that Damrau was showing from the outset that Elvira was on the verge of being unhinged. Almost manic at first. She had ideas about her role in a production that didn’t have an idea in its head. It is difficult to match an idea about Cromwellian Puritans with Bellini’s less than austere music.

  • Camille

    I don’t rightly know if it was DD als Direktor or it’s just ‘her way’ with things. She directed Zubin Mehta and the audience at that Gala in Carnegie Hall a few years ago. It’s on youtube, so you can see it. She is just a little ball of energy.

  • Nelly della Vittoria

    I love her. She’s not a perfect fit for everything she’s sung, and when I’ve seen her she’s been in markedly better voice on some occasions than on others, but she’s never been less than fiercely committed, never given less than all of herself on stage. She made that sleepy staging of Manon come crackling into life — I remember going and being astonished — even if, listening to the broadcast after the fact, I can hear odd musical choices (Why skip the whole scale at the end of the gavotte and leap straight to the top C/D?) and obvious pushing in the middle of the range.

  • Parpignol

    I thought her Elvira was sort of startlingly related in character to her Juliette, Elvira maybe a little more girlish than one expected, Juliette maybe a little more unstable than one expected--
    and odd that Juliette felt like a better vocal fit at this moment, when I would have expected the other way around--

  • simonelvladtepes

    Damrau as mentioned often psychoanalyses her roles in a manic, hyperactive way. As long as this was complementing an outstanding instrument it was fine, but now that the voice is no longer suited for coloratura it feels like a fraud. Anyway, I have to get used to the idea that I need to switch my brain on for an opera like Puritani.