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Moshpitting at the Met April 27, 2008

Posted by Jeff in French, Opera, Theater.

From the Vienna Staatsoper production of Gaetano Donizetti’s La fille du régiment, Juan Diego Flórez sings “Pour me rapprocher de Marie”.

For the last two years, the Metropolitan Opera has been offering HD broadcasts of some of its Saturday matinees in movie theaters, and I’m kicking myself that it’s taken me this long to check it out. I certainly chose a good way to start (but then again, my first three live Met performances were Leonie Rysanek and Jon Vickers in Fidelio, Christa Ludwig in Der Rosenkavalier and Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto in La Bohème.) I can certainly report that it was well worth getting up early to take the bus to Century City for Flórez and Natalie Dessay in Fille.

The clips in this post are from the same Laurent Pelly production I saw yesterday, which originated at Covent Garden and has played in Vienna and Milan. Here, Dessay’s “Salut à la France”, complete with mosh pit:

On the opening night of the Met production, Florez did an encore (a “bis”, as they call it in opera-land) of his “money aria,” the Act I high-wire act “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!”, in which Tonio convinces the régiment to grant him their daughter’s hand in marriage:

Flórez’s bis at La Scala may have been the first since Toscanini forbade the practice in 1922. His nine high Cs inevitably invite comparison with possibly the most famous interpreter of the role, whose performances with Joan Sutherland at the Met in 1968 made him internationally famous. I was going to post a link to a pirate recording of Luciano Pavarotti’s performance in that role, but I think the comparisons are unfair, in a way, both to him and Flórez.

Is Flórez the next Pavarotti? Ask me in thirty years. In the meantime, I will be getting up early on Saturdays a lot more when the next Met HD season starts up again later this year.

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1. Joseph Carraro - May 8, 2008

Great Voice. Great interpretation.
There is so much clarity and dynamism in the voice and youthful energy the performer that he reached, in my view, the level of absolute perfection. BRAVISSIMO

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