Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fear&loathing in NY: Glamour, blood and boos for last night's Tosca

Opening night Gala at the Met last night and Kay, a Marcelo Álvarez co-groupie reports:

"Bravissimo! What a thrilling evening, one whose memory I will cherish forever. Marcelo was fabulous. I was so PROUD of him! It is quite an honor for a singer to appear in the Met Opening Night Gala.I admit I was a bit nervous for him, considering how important this Gala was, and how many people would be seeing it, but I needn't have worried. Oh, that voice! I could wrap it around me like a velvet cloak! That voice is chocolate for my ears! And does he ever look magnificent -- and a bit like Jose Cura -- with that beard and mustache!

Listen to Marcelo Álvarez in Recondita Armonia
(NY, 21.09.09)

The Met Opening Night Gala is a major social event in New York, attended by celebrities, dignitaries, and VIPs. For over $1,200 a ticket, these folks can attend a cocktail party before the show and a gala black-tie dinner with the cast afterwards. The Met has 3,000 seats. Another 3,000 chairs were set up in the plaza outside the house for people to watch the show on a huge screen, and in Times Square, 2,000 more people watched it; that's 8,000 people! And in the center of all this excitement...our Marcelo!

When I arrived, over 100 photographers, TV news cameras, members of the Press from all over the world, and paparazzi were already lined up. It was like the Academy Awards! People were beautifully dressed, the men in evening wear and the women in gorgeous gowns. Among the celebrities I saw were musician Billy Joel, actors Patricia Clarkson, Harvey Fierstein, and Christine Baransky, and I'm sure there were many many more.

If you were listening on Sirius, you might have heard boos at the end of Act II. Unfortunately, at the curtain calls, the production team drew more loud, prolonged boos. I felt so sorry for the singers who had to stand on the stage and listen to that. Even knowing it was not meant for them, it must still be unnerving to hear it. I honestly don't think the production deserved such hostility.

Listen to the Act II (short) booing

Many people liked it, and it was nothing like the Sonnambula debacle last season. Interestingly, people I spoke to who watched it outside seemed to like it very much, so I am thinking that the cameras focused on the singers rather than the scenery. If so, then it could be great in HD!..

...I am liking Gagnidze quite a bit; I just wish Levine would stop drowning
him out in the Te Deum.

Listen to George Gagnidze in his Te Deum

Mattila looks wonderful but she had a bit of a trouble in places.
She went way off pitch while telling Mario about the murder.

Listen to Karita Mattila in Vissi d'arte at the premiere and
the dress rehearsal

and more trouble for Karita in Act III

Marcelo got huge applause after his final aria and really, really huge applause at his curtain call. :)"

Listen to Marcelo Alvarez in Vittoria, vittoria and
E lucevan le stelle

and gran finale with "O Scarpia, avanti a Dio"
...and the boos mixing with the bravos

while the boos obviously covered the bravos when the production team came on stage.

OperaChic was also there (and we were not), loved the Luc Bondy production and reports .

Costume Designs for Tosca by Milena Canonero
Photos by Ken Howard / Richard Termine /
Mary Altaffer


Maria said...

Our beloved Marcelo! He deserves all the applause for his art AND simplicity as a man.
My congratulations too, as well as a wish to have him with us in Athens soon for one more performance.

Fedora said...

Fantastica crónica. Es tal la emoción que se siente cuando una está en el Met que los abucheos, por no gustar la producción es lo de menos. Me alegro que todo el elenco de cantantes estuviera tan bien, y sobre todo Marcelo.

Parsifal said...

Si, es una cronica fantastica y gracias a Kay por concedermela. Quisiera estar alli solo por Marcelino ya que de lo q he escuchado (las grabaciones del ensayo general y la primera) la Mattila me decepcionó....y mucho.

Gagnidze es interesante, poco rafinado y un poco vulgar, como Scarpia tenia q ser (pues, segun mi punto de vista). Lo vamos a ver de Rigoletto en Atenas pero no estoy seguro de q le vaya a sentar bien el papel...veremos.

Anonymous said...

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