spy-vs-spyAfter a rather long afternoon at the Met, a member of the cher public writes:

“The Don Carlo final dress was worth catching.”

Our spy has more to say after the jump.

The orchestra and conductor were excellent. A few fairly minor contretemps that will probably cleaned up in post-rehearsal notes.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is clearly a major talent. This is not an easy show to conduct, and he really made it his own. Simon Keenlyside was very good. Not the really top-tier kind of voice, but very artistic. HD fans are in for a treat. Anna Smirnova has a huge Guleghina-like instrument, but not much finesse. And she’s pretty short on any visual glamor at all.

Looking forward to subsequent perfs by Roberto Alagna and Marina Poplavskaya. Both looked good and acted very well. She was especially touching in the farewell to her lady-in-waiting. She has a real tenderness, which comes across very strongly.

The production is mostly very good, often spectacularly atmospheric and beautiful. Great lighting. Gorgeous, apt costumes.

I was a bit taken aback that the “Prelude and Introduction”—so long a hallmark of Met performances— is gone. Or was gone today at least. I wonder whose idea that was. A lot of pretty important music in those 10-12 minutes. I missed it a lot.