Metropolitan Opera – Verdi’s Il Trovatore. October 4, 2012.

Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center – Balcony, Seat E124 ($92.50).Conductor – Daniele Callegari; Leonora – Carmen Giannattasio, Count di Luna – Franco Vassallo, Manrico – Gwyn Hughes-Jones, Azucena – Dolora Zajick.

Story.  See previous post.

A couple of weeks ago we returned the Il Trovatore tickets for another opera.  We got them as part of our subscription (Thursdays) with the intention of the exchange since we had seen it before.
The McNallys are in town, and when we were having dinner on our boat on Sunday I asked them if they wanted to go to New York Thursday to see a concert.  Our original intention was to buy two additional tickets for the New York Philharmonic concert we already had tickets for.  We decided to exchange those for several reasons: it contains a Schoenberg piece which may be a bit inscrutable, the McNallys had never seen a live opera, and we wanted to make the evening an enjoyable one rather than an intellectually challenging one. The “downside” is they don’t get to meet the new bass player in New York Phil, although it is unlikely that he would be in this concert with a more “intimate” program. In any case, with all these exchanges, I hope I have kept good records of what concerts we will end up going to!
We met up with our guests at East Szechuan Garden and had a quick and (relatively) light dinner before the concert.
Since we saw this before, we thought we would remember the story.  Both Anne and I found it very difficult to read the synopsis written in the Program Notes.  There are just too many things happening outside of the opera to make the reading straightforward.  Luckily I think I finally understood what was going on by the end of the performance, but there were quite a few instances where I simply wanted to give up.  As with some other Verdi operas (Ernani comes to mind), this is an opera whose story line could use some additional development.
This is Carmen Giannattasio’s debut at the Met.  And what a debut it is.  It makes me wonder how deep Met’s talent pool is, there are just so many of these young impressive sopranos: Meade and Machaidze are two others that come to mind.  Her voice could use some refinement at the “soft high” end of the spectrum, but otherwise it was just great.  All the other singers did very well also.  We saw the same Azecuna (Zajick).
Looking back at my writeup, I wasn’t that impressed with the 2009 performance – and we had better seats then.  Since I would like to think I have gotten a bit better at analyzing these things, I would conclude tonight’s was a much better performance.  It was good to know I was equally puzzled by the story.
In any case, we are happy the McNallys could come along.
The New York Times reviewer saw a different Leonora, and he like the performance very much.