Alan Kozinn in The New York Times:

Mozart’s music creates instant sympathy for the Countess, who sings the touching lament “Porgi amor” in her first moments on the stage. But the music cannot do the work alone, and in Ms. Fleming the Met has a lyric soprano who engages the listener immediately. Her timbre is pure and fresh, and she endowed the Countess’s arias with the combination of dignity and emotional depth that is the essence of the role.

Her responsive portrayal did not rely solely on the Countess’s desolation, but also captured the role’s playfulness, anger and, in the end, the Countess’s especially graceful form of forgiveness.

Happy 92nd birthday mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig.

Happy 87th birthday mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza.

On this day in 1894 Massenet’s Thaïs premiered in Paris.