One of the many great things about the Met HD performances is that of the 10 operas that I have seen or will see this season, 6 of them I have seen for the first time. For the first five, I knew or read something about them ahead of time, but I purposely did not do this for La Sonnambula. When the curtain went up for Act I yesterday, all I knew was from the trailer shown at previous Met HDs: it was by Bellini, it starred Natalie Dessay, and she walked in her sleep. I didn’t even know if the ending would be tragic or happy.
That was enough. I like Bellini’s music. I adored Dessay in Daughter of the Regiment last year and looked forward to seeing her in a different role. And I was confident that with the aid of subtitles I would be able to follow the plot.
Everything worked. I was delighted with the result, and I look forward to going again on Wednesday, April 1. For those of you who have access to a Met HD theatre, I strongly recommend that you do the same. I won’t give away a word about the plot, but I will note that there a couple of duets sung pianissimo and in close harmony that were absolutely beautiful.
I’m sorry that I missed writing anything timely about Madama Butterfly or about the La Scala HD production of Don Carlos. In fact, since I last wrote I have also been to 4 live operas in Sarasota, Florida, and twice each to West Bay Opera’s Orfeo ed Euridici, and Pocket Opera’s production of Offenbach’s La Belle Helene. But if I go into all that now, who knows when I’ll get this off to you. Maybe I can write an “extra” before the Met HD’s final show of La Cenerentola on May 9 (N. B. that starts half an hour early – 9:30 AM in California) – but don’t hold your breath!
Ciao – – Philip