Far be it from me to join the Schadenfreudian chorus of “Bye, Bye, Berti!” you may have been hearing in certain quarters, but the first thing I am duty-bound to report about San Francisco Opera’s Norma (of which three performances remain) is that they’ve hit the jackpot, coverwise. Russell Thomas, in for Marco Berti, is a very fine Pollione, at once elegant and heroic—a rare combination even in these tenor-rich times with so many worthy lyric singers. Read more »
Big changes in San Francisco’s Norma: Jamie Barton is now on for all performances of Adalgisa, and Marco Berti is out “for personal reasons.” Russell Thomas will sing the remaining performances of Pollione. [via Iron Tongue of Midnight]
Jamie Barton will make her San Francisco Opera debut as Adalgisa in Norma for five of the opera’s seven performances on September 5, 10, 14, 27 and 30. Ms. Barton replaces Daveda Karanas, who has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons. [San Francisco Opera]
Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.
“The Met’s production, originally directed by John Copley, is still a hideous, confusing mess. But with Ms. Meade and Ms. Barton acting with moving subtlety, singing generously and feeling deeply, it was hard to care.”
“Don’t sing anything but teensy bits of Mozart until you’re at least 40…”
“An earlier version of this post referred incorrectly to the gender of the mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. Ms. Barton is a woman.”
American mezzo Jamie Barton, who has steadily been winning fans in the US over the past few years for her rich and nuanced singing, took the international opera world by storm last weekend by winning both the Song Prize as well as the overall prize in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.