Il Barbiere at the Met
Does anyone else agree with me that last night's Il Barbiere from the Met on R3 was dreadful? True, most of the singers nearly hit all the right notes, but not always in the right order. Rosina, in particular, murdered her biggest aria. She also seemed to be hyper; let's hope it was only excess caffein.
Hello, Peter - and welcome.
There seems to be a resounding silence on this. I won't be unkind and post the attempt of a certain singer of operatic arias at Una voce poco fa ... You could say she has a stab at it, if that's another way of saying 'murdered'!
Hello french frank, and thanks.
I must admit, I am not entirely sure whether or not you agree with me - are you talking about the same production, or hinting obliquely at a different singer?
A little odd that nobody has either agreed with me, or called me 'cloth ears'.
Peter - I listen to Met broadcasts often, but missed this one. I've also experienced lack of response when I've posted about the Met.
Welcome and keep posting.
From personal experience, the Met audience - or the stalls particularly - seem to demand display, almost vaudevillian extravagance, especially in earlyish 19th cent opera - and in the past I have heard singers who, in Europe, would simply never stoop to the 'me, me, me' style, get to mugging the audience, over-coloured delivery, and frank demeaning of their very considerable art. The Met audience has some darlings who can do no wrong and get wild cheers no matter what they sing, and it loves some of its long servants who are allowed to get away with shaky stuff at ages when many might well have thought retirement was the more tactful option. The radio relays fronted by Juntwait and Siff do nothing to alleviate this sense. I am NOT saying that this happens all the time, but in standard repertoire, when orchestra/conductor, soloists, chorus know they are trotting out an old favourite on a Sat Mat, performances can, shall we say, vary.
I thought the Rosina was unreachably OTT, with shrieks and gulps, and slides and knowing winks [vocal of course] at the audience, and I simply switched off after 90 or so minutes. Ditto Bartolo - the drunk scenes were simply dreadful.
The problem is that I tune in on Saturdays almost dreading things, particularly if it is standard rep, but that said, I was still surprised by Saturday.
I meant a different singer. I didn't hear the broadcast but a response of any sort bumps the thread in the hope that others will comment (as they have!).
Originally Posted by Peter
Thanks, DracoM. Yes, those were my feelings exactly: OTT wild cheers in response to just-about-mediocre (at best) singing, hyper shrieks and gulps from Rosina (more appropriate to a production of 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore), an awful Bartolo, and disbelief and surprise that something so substandard could be coming from the Met.
And thanks, kernelbogey.
And thanks, french frank. Certainly seems to have drummed up some interest.
Last edited by Peter; 21-02-12 at 17:00.