sexta-feira, janeiro 26, 2007
By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Published: January 26, 2007
Not many tenors these days excel in the full-bodied, lyric Puccini and Verdi repertory once owned by the likes of Carlo Bergonzi, Giuseppe Di Stefano and Luciano Pavarotti. The closest we have may be the Italian tenor Marcello Giordani, who took over the role of Rodolfo on Wednesday night for the first of four final performances in the Metropolitan Opera’s current revival of Puccini’s “Bohème.” His Mimi was the Chilean soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, which united the stars of the Met’s acclaimed Anthony Minghella production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.”
It was as Rodolfo that Mr. Giordani made his 1995 Met debut, and it is always rewarding to hear the role sung by a true Puccini tenor. Still, he has been branching out in recent years into weightier repertory, like Verdi’s Manrico and, at the Met, the hefty title role of Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini.” While such choices testify to his adventurousness, they may explain why his Rodolfo seemed to have lost some of the velvety grace and glowing richness of earlier years. At times he ended melodic phrases abruptly and halted in his delivery. At his best Mr. Giordani can certainly invest a Puccini phrase with vibrant sound and soaring lyricism.
Ms. Gallardo-Domâs may not have a conventionally beautiful sound, and soft high singing does not come naturally to her. The earthy expressivity and subtle intensity of her singing, however, made her an affecting Mimi.
There were strong performances from the hearty baritone Dwayne Croft, a veteran Marcello; the bright-voiced soprano Ainhoa Arteta as Musetta; and the robust young baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson as Schaunard, the role of his Met debut last fall. The most complete vocal and dramatic portrayal came from the charismatic bass-baritone John Relyea as Colline. The bass Paul Plishka did double-duty as the hapless landlord Benoit and the wealthy Alcindoro. Carlo Rizzi was the very capable conductor.
Audiences still swoon when the curtain goes up on the bustling, two-tiered Café Momus set in Act II of Franco Zeffirelli’s extravagant and critic-proof 1981 production. This is one show the new general manager, Peter Gelb, will probably leave be.
“La Bohème” will be performed tomorrow at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center.