Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Night at the Opera - Anna Bolena - Met on Demand

     In preparation for the Met's new production of Roberto Devereaux I have been revisiting Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda.  This past Saturday I listened to the live broadcast of the Maria Stuarda from the Met with Sondra R in the title role.  It was a stunning performance.  I had seen it in HD a couple years ago when it was streamed with Joyce Di Donato in the title role and I intend to revisit that performance in a couple weeks.  But I had had to miss Anna Bolena when it was first broadcast now a number of years ago.  So, this evening I watched it and I loved it.  It is a terrific production and the singing is glorious.  The opera stars Anna Netrebko as Anna Bolena, Ildar Adbrazakov as Henry, Stephen Costello as Percy and Ekatarina Gubanova as Jane Seymour.
     I have read comments from others that are critical of Netrebko in this role, but frankly I don't understand the criticism.  I thought she was spectacular.  Not only is she a glorious singer, but she is a magnificent actor.  She embodies the role.  I loved her in this role.  Ildar is a great Henry, and Stephen Costello sounds great as Percy as does Gubanova as Seymour. The supporting cast is also excellent, as usual.  The production directed by David McVicar is fairly traditional but very effective and Marco Armiliato conducts the always excellent Met orchestra and chorus.  Hats off to Pedro Cosme Diaz for the gorgeous English Horn obligato in the last scene of the opera.
     As I have mentioned in other posts one should not look to opera for historical information and this opera is certainly filled with historical problems - but that is not the point. Donizetti and his librettists were attempting to tell as story of love and passion and politics and succeeds very well.  Anyway, I loved this opera and now on to Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereaux!

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