After the buildup to the opening night of the season, you can expect a certain falloff. But the second night of the Metropolitan Opera’s season on Tuesday was terrific.
Guy Joosten’s production of Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” glows with bright blues, the warm tones of inlaid wood and backgrounds of spiraling colored galaxies and stars. When the production opened in November 2005, I found it saccharine. But on Tuesday its jewel-like colors and jewel-box compartments were an appropriate setting for an opera that revealed one vocal jewel after another.
You are not going to hear much better singing than this today. True, Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna can both be faulted. She is a little wild, flinging herself into roles and about the stage (especially, on Tuesday, at her first entrance); he has a certain emotional bluntness, and a certain monochrome tone. So much for the obligatory criticism. The bottom line is that Ms. Netrebko produced a luscious sound that you wanted to bathe in forever, especially in her first-act duet with Mr. Alagna. The ultimate measure for a singer should be, Is this a sound you want to listen to? The answer here was yes. Read More