I am enjoying the coverage of the Met Opera Season on Sky Arts 2 very much. All the operas have had something brilliant about them and here are some of my highlights:
- Laurence Brownlee singing Rinaldo in Armida was magnificent and the high tessitura was no problem. Fleming was slightly less convincing and not nearly as good as her flamboyant recording at Pesaro. We get a lot of Florez on CD - why not Brownlee?
- Marcelo Álvarez as Cavaradossi with Karita Mattila as a brilliantly highly strung Tosca
- Marina Poplavskaya as Liù in Zeffirelli's war horse production of Turandot. Maria Guleghina and Marcello Giordano were a bit old school and wooden for me.
- Simon Keenleyside as a young and virile Hamlet which was a fabulous introduction to this opera for me
But the greatest two hours was spent falling in love with The Tales of Hoffman, an opera I have previously sruggled with on record (and yes I do have the Bonynge set). Here James Levine conducts and Anna Netrebko as Antonia and Joseph Calleja as Hoffmann are wonderful. Some real emotional angst here. I was amazed by Kathleen Kim as Olympia who even did her bows to the audience in doll like character. But it was Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse who stole the show for me.
Well done to all concerned at Sky Arts.