sun 23/06/2024

Netrebko, Met Stars Live in Concert online review - flashy performance from operatic powerhouse | reviews, news & interviews

Netrebko, Met Stars Live in Concert online review - flashy performance from operatic powerhouse

Netrebko, Met Stars Live in Concert online review - flashy performance from operatic powerhouse

Glitz and glamour on a unique recital stage

Anna Netrebko: in carnival mood and stunning voiceMetropolitan Opera

Though the global pandemic has brought about an unprecedented degree of isolation, it’s also, in unusual ways, brought us together too. Visiting New York’s Metropolitan Opera House is currently an impossible dream - the house is still completely dark.

However, that’s not stopping the Met from bringing a wealth of concerts from across the world to a global audience. Some of its biggest names, including Joyce DiDonato, Bryn Terfel and Jonas Kaufmann, have given recitals from locations as unique as a historic Washington mansion, a castle in Oslo and Brecon Cathedral in Wales. Saturday’s recital was a typically showy performance from soprano Anna Netrebko, brought to audience screens from the ornate surroundings of Vienna’s Spanish Riding School.

Accompanied by pianist Pavel Nebolsin, Netrebko’s programme began with three songs by Rachmaninov. “Lilacs” is soft and tender, while “Before my window” has greater ardour. “How fair this spot” is equally heartfelt, with lush romanticism from the piano.

SInging next in French, Netrebko skillfully portrayed the “crying of the heart” in Debussy’s “Il pleure dans mon coeur” while the heady ecstasy in “Depuis le jour from Charpentier’s Louise is earnestly felt. Moving to Germany, Richard Strauss’s “Die Nacht” was deliciously romantic, Netrebko’s rich, powerful voice wonderfully conveying the angst of the song, and lightness of touch from both singer and pianist followed in his “Ständchen.  Nebolsin, Netrebko and MaximovaThere’s no doubt Netrebko has a stunning voice, and is, quite rightly, one of the biggest stars on today’s operatic stage. In a recital such as this, her performance at times felt a little overacted. She could have let the beauty of both the music and poetry speak for itself a bit more, and allowed the audience a more free play of imagination. We’re reminded twice of her on-stage prowess from excerpts from previously filmed Met productions. There was a whistlestop tour of some of her most celebrated Met roles, from operas including Lucia di Lammermoor, Eugene Onegin and L’elisir d’amore while Netrebko took her first short break. During her second, we were shown a longer excerpt from the Met’s 2014 production of Verdi’s Macbeth. The drama she brought to the role was thrilling, in what was definitely the time and place for it.

Netrebko was joined twice onstage by Elena Maximova (pictured above, right with Nebolsin and Netrebko). The Russian mezzo has a deliciously deep, dark voice and together the two singers blend well. The Lisa-Paulina duet from Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades was matched for smooth beauty by the Barcarolle from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann

The final section of the programme began with Dvořák songs, the Czech gypsy melodies wonderfully illuminated by Nebolsin. Netrebko’s onstage movements were a little more pared back for these numbers, helping the music shine. Her finale, Tchaikovsky’s “Does the day reign?” made a dynamic conclusion to this powerful performance from one of today’s most celebrated singers. 

In stunning voice, Netrebko could have let the beauty of both the music and the poetry speak for itself a bit more


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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