Cher Public

A quiet girl

“Tatiana has developed into one of Netrebko’s very best roles, rich in light and shade of acting detail and showing off a warm, calm radiance in the voice. So much of opera thrives on sin, but in this opera—in which her character honors her marriage vows despite her love for another man—the soprano made a moving case for virtue.” [Observer]

  • swordsnsolvers

    “That so many people’s lives could be ruined by one ill-considered letter written by a young girl reminds us just how shockingly fragile happiness can be.”

    It makes for a nice transition in the review, but isn’t this take on the story sort of blaming the victim? Tatiana isn’t responsible for Onegin rejecting her feelings. And at the ball it’s Onegin who decides to provoke Lensky and later refuses to back down from the duel.

    • Donna Annina

      Stanley Mitchell’s translation of the Pushkin novella is wonderful, as is the background information. I had the sense that Tatiana lives out her life as one of the heroines in the novels she devours. Even her rejection of Onegin is patterned after an English romance, Pamela, I think. Lensky is enthralled with the German romantics and he lives (and dies) according to his vision of a doomed poet. It’s a satire that doesn’t translate into the opera, although Tchaikovsky incorporated entire sections of the novella into the libretto.

      • swordsnsolvers

        One thing I love about this opera is the symmetry: one romantic daughter, one realistic/cynical daughter; one romantic man, one realistic/cynical man. And of course they are all in the wrong configuration for happiness. The romance elements are inverted and there’s a coldly cynical tinge to everything. I love the character of the nurse like that. You can be sure when Tatiania entrusts her with the letter she is expecting a result like in one of her novels where a factotum obediently and silently delivers a desperate romantic missive in the background. Reality proves otherwise: “So which of our neighbors do you want me to deliver this to, dearie?” So poor Tanya is forced to spell it out.

  • ER

    Love the review and the points are absolutely valid. I find myself reconsidering my original take which was that I was (for the first time) bored during a Netrebko performance. May be it was because the role lacks obvious vocal or dramatic fireworks.

    Off topic- but has anyone seen / is going to see Stoyanova’s Aida?

    • Bryan Johnson-Xenitelis

      I saw the Aida last week. Weird performance. Stoyanova to my ear previously had been a light lyric, so this role seemed an odd choice. Conductor may have been 12 years old, picked zippy tempo throughout, gave no Fs about singers being heard whatsoever and bulldozed through however he imagined it should have gone. Overall, I’m glad I went, but not sure I’d hear it again. But very worth hearing once. I wonder how she recorded… She’s found some deep chest and deploys it as high up as she’s able and as often as she can. Ritorna Vincitor was C H E S T Y. She also has a very shouty middle voice that carried extremely well. The high upper register remains lyric and didn’t come through over the orchestra or any other singers. Given the choice though between a louder screamier singer who can punch through in the loud bits but maybe was so-so during the rest, I’d take Stoyanova any day. Acting was kind of silly and over the top, but at the same time old-school, convincing, and committed. 75% great, 25% inaudible, but during the 75% she was gold. She did manage to really shine during the Act III duet with Dad where even the high notes were pretty loud. The O Patria was kind of like hearing a feeble Mimi though, barely heard it! Tenor was decent and way cute. Urmana had a bad night but I suspect will fare better in later performances based on her last run. Morris fared pretty well compared to other recent Italian performances. For the record, I was way high in a balcony box, so the inaudibility issues may not have been as noticeable closer/farther down. Who was high priestess? Paint peelingly loud despite being hidden behind the set.

      • ER

        thanks for the detailed comments. I have sat through so many Aidas, at this point there has to be something special to make me go to another one. But this might be worth a shot.

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    Did they retain the controversial kiss (Tatiana and Onegin) from the creation of this production?