New York MET: CARMEN
19, 23, 27 Ottobre; 4 Novembre 2004
Carmen M. DOMASHENKO / I. MISHURA
Conductor PLACIDO DOMINGO
For me, Armiliato walked away with the vocal honors of the day. His tenor is a beautiful Italianate tenor, and it sounded perfect in this French opera. His French is fine, and the voice really rings on top, like very few tenors in this repertoire since Corelli or Tucker.
Based on his performance yesterday, I would nominate Armiliato as the leading candidate for these roles. His voice is not only beautiful, but extremely clear and very resonant.
Domashenko was fine, with a strange sounding patch around F or F#, but the rest of the voice, both above and below that area, is full and rich. Her French was strange, and very Russian accented. O'Flynn sang a gorgeous Micaela, and, along with Armiliato, received the biggest ovation after her aria, as he did after the beautiful Flower Song.
At the final curtain, it was Armiliato who recieved the screams and tremendous ovations from the sold out house.
Ed Rosen on OPERA-L
It's really hard to keep on totally describing the same productions, but for some reason today's ZEFFIRELLI production at the Met seemed visually better than it ever has over the past years. Less smoke for the girls is always a plus, but the animals on stage just seem to multiply each time, starting with a horse, a mule and a couple of dogs in Act I to the seven horses in the final act!.
I could easily do without the dreadful production curtain and projections at the beginning of each act (have I said this only a 1/2 dozen times before on Opera-L?), but today we were blessed with some beautiful singing, and visually pleasing direction and acting starting with a Micaela from Ms. O'Flynn that was as frail and perfect as one can get. Indeed the entire case seemed to be in synch with the feeling of the opera; even kudos go to the kids chorus who performed beyond the level of brilliant. Ms. Domashenko was dramatically impressive as a sexy-looking, but not sleazy Carmen; almost a playful Carmen if you will. Mr. Armiliato matched her intensity wonderfully, sexually driven and totally besotted throughout.
Whatever one prefers, there were so great highs at today's Carmen matinee, many from Mr. Armiliato and Ms. O'Flynn, and they truly outweighed the several negatives.
ALAN J SAVADA, C.T.C.
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