The operatives were busy over the midnight hours:

“Act 3 was a mixed bag. The opening showed Villazon in much better form, with solid phrasing. The Mad Scene started out beautiful, Netrebko spinning out haunting legato. She was completely involved and engaged. Then she fell apart at the flute solo, sounding under supported and wavering off pitch dangerously. She never recovered through the end of the scene. She sounded as if she had just run out of energy and attempted no high note, which may have been a blessing. Villazon ended the show beautiful, showing us what he can sound like — though there were two large cracks. The voice was nonetheless much more secure. Kwiecien was by far the best thing about the show, displaying a healthy voice and fantastic acting from beginning to end. His was the only stellar performance. Also, if I am not mistaken, which having sung this scene before I am quite sure I am not, the whole Act 3 scene was taken down a whole step.”

“You were not wrong to sign off when you did — Act II was the high point by far in all respects.  With my wretched Blackberry no longer impeding my thoughts, I’ll thus conclude — Act III featured the most extensive and most exposed singing of our poor Rolando, and his near-miss on the Act II A was repeated on a couple other notes — though he did hit notes of equally difficulty without incident.  Maybe he’s just that good an actor, but peering at him through my binoculars, I really did feel at the beginning of the last scene as though he were in mourning for himself.  I’m too sad for him to be any more critical — though the incredible energy he displaying during the curtain may prove my theory wrong.  Netrebko’s mad scene certainly lacked the bel canto qualities one expects, but her singing was secure — with the exception of the last note, where she paused before dropping down.”

“Well, first off there were no Ebs to miss in the Mad Scene because there were no Ebs, which was probably a good thing because any time Netrebko went above a C?(I don’t have the ear or knowledge of the score that other members of your public have but let just say anything “high”), it was shaky or abandoned, one time rather awkwardly. Other than that omission/decision, which resulted in a bit of a shock I think at the end of the scene, it was a nicely sung, although rather un-“bel canto” Mad Scene. Villazon had some small problems during the Wolf’s Crag scene that he compensated for by just backing off. Same during the final scene. His first aria (“Fra poco…”) was actually nice, although I am guessing based on posts from the other night that it was indeed transposed down, and frankly if I hadn’t heard Bezcala do such a beautiful, powerful rendition of this two months ago I might
not have noticed it was lacking. And at the end he sang all the “Bel Alma”‘s which was an improvement over Monday as well. I would say that it is unlikely either will be replaced. Netrebko seemed to be getting her legs back and by next Saturday will probably be just fine for the
broadcast, although not terribly exciting. Villazon just can’t sing full out for long periods of time. But it didn’t sound like phlegm was the issue tonight. The response to both Anna and Rolando was huge from
the crowd, proving that to the majority of today’s opera fans (at the Met at least), these performances are about what people expect or are looking for. My personal recommendations for the HD broadcast would be to tell people to turn off their *#$&(% cell phones (there were at
least five loud rings tonight, including one phone that must have belonged to the patron who dropped their hearing aid on the floor in family circle, it was deafening) and also to consider looking to the
covers for the trumpet players because the first fanfare of the opera is seemingly beyond whomever was attempting to play it last night and Monday. Also could Colin Lee please do double duty a la Plishka in Boheme and sing the role of Normanno as well as Arturo. Michael Myers seriously needs a microphone. It is ridiculous and just starts the whole night off on a bad foot.”