Saturday, October 4, 2008

Damrau Debuts as Lucia

I listened rapturously to this Lucia last night over Sirius. It was one of the finest Lucias I've ever heard. Though I have enjoyed her (wildly so) in other roles, Damrau simply knocked me into next week with her Lucia. Her voice has everything in spades, creamy textured, appealing tone, a shining, glimmery quality to her high notes -which are so secure they should be patented! I wasn't expecting the Glass Harmonica to make an appearance and though she was so fully involved in the drama all evening, here she seemed almost inspired by its sound that I could "see" her unraveling before my eyes and ears in a manner that made the "radio" come alive in ways it rarely does. Those amazing high E flats were simply icing on the cake, and tossed off with such ease it sounded as though she could have interpolated something even higher. To think this was her role debut makes it even more mind blowing, so developed and passionate was her creation. Brava! Having only heard her this once (which is all anyone has), I'll go ahead and say she's the real deal and with repeated performances become THE preferred Lucy of her day.

I've heard Beczala before and was impressed, but perhaps inspired by everything going on around him, Armiliato's near perfect tempi and textures coming from the pit, he offered a passionately sung, often ear ravishing Edgardo. There can be a little bit of hardness to his otherwise "plush" sound, but even that was not unappealing. I'd like to hear just a soupcon more shading, gentleness to the voice - and that may well come, but regardless he was the real deal last night as well. (Friends and I have also discussed a bit of Pippo to his style - high praise, indeed!)

I was also impressed by Stoyanov and the rest of the cast. As previously stated, this was the best sounding Met Lucia in a long while and though I hate to sound greedy, but I would love this cast to replace the Netrebko-led one coming in June. As much as I like her, I can't possibly imagine Netrebko being as effective as Damrau was last night. Not even close, in fact.

This was a win/win night for the Met. Bravo & Grazie!p.

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