I had the pleasure of being at last Saturday’s matinee performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera, starring Anna Netrebko. This is the first performance I’ve seen her in; the almost 4000 of us there gave her a warm ovation when she stepped out on stage.
I thought Netrebko’s performance was thrilling – if merely for her star power. Friends who saw the performance in a Columbus theater’s HDTV broadcast also thought it was terrific. Netrebko belted out her high notes with high volume, but I noticed a little inconsistency in her singing (her voice missed the start of a few notes and her midrange volume was low). Not at all bad for her having just returned from having her baby.
Netrebko is the 3rd Lucia I’ve seen in this production. I thought Natalie Dessay’s acting in the mad scene was the most compelling, and the best all around combination of acting and singing was Diana Damrau’s. Yet Damrau was the least heralded of the three. Ah, the magic of good publicists!
BTW, I also had the pleasure of meeting Zinta Lundberg, Bloomberg’s arts & culture writer, at the Opera Club again during my visit this weekend. She wrote up the Jan. 27th performance of Lucia, with ailing Rolando Villazon. Fortunately, we heard Piotr Beczala as Edgardo and he sang very well. Marco Armiliato conducted with his characteristic verve, as he did in Friday night’s Adriana Lecourvreur, sung powerfully and beautifully by Maria Guleghina, Placido Domingo, and Olga Borodina.