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New York MET: CARMEN

OPERA

Cast
Audio Files
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REVIEWS

 

 

16, 19, 23, 27 Ottobre; 4 Novembre 2004
CAST

                            Carmen  M. DOMASHENKO / I. MISHURA     
    Don JosŤ  FABIO ARMILIATO      
                         Micaela  H.-K. HONG / M. O'FLYNN           
            Escamillo  ABDRAZAKOV /OTEY         
__________

Conductor   PLACIDO DOMINGO

 

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  REVIEWS

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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.
He sings tenderly when called for, such as the beautiful piano high A and G to conclude the Jose-Micaela duet. And he let it all out when called for, such as the finales to Acts 3 & 4.
I have seen him at the Met some years ago in Aida and Trovatore, and thought very highly of him then. He has improved. I don't know why he is not used more frequently by the Met. Here is an answer to our shortage of tenors that can do justice to the spinto-dramatico works, such as Forza, Manon Lescaut, Aida, Chenier, etc. 

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.

Bravo Fabio!

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!.
At this point, we opera fanatics sure don't go to view the production, but today's matinee had some big plusses and a couple of minuses going for it: Morales-Brian Davis Micaela-Maureen O'Flynn Jose-Fabio Armiliato Zuniga-James Courtney Carmen-Mairna Domashenko Frasquita-Jennifer Welch-Babidge Mercedes-Sandra Piques-Eddy Escamillo-Louis Otey Dancaire-Jeff Mattsey Remendado-Eduardo Valdes

 

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.
As the singing goes, it was of the upper-middle to better caliber, with varying problems such as Ms. Domasehnko's extremely garbled French pronunciation and Mr. Otey's blustering baritone. What did excite was the formidable Flower song.

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.
Washington, DC

 

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Last modified: novembre 19, 2004