Elaine Meinel Supkis
I wish to share some opera which PBS broadcast this afternoon with their wonderful Great Performances series. Today's performance was a very enchanting production of the Metropolitan Opera playing Bellini's 'Il Puritani' with Anna Netrebko. I love this singer and admire her talents, skills and personality. She is a blazing star in the opera world and no wonder! Bravo, bravo!
This video doesn't do her justice, this soprano has the liquid voice and dramatic expression as some of the greatest singers such as the divine La Callas. Anna Netrebko not only has clear as a bird at dawn high notes but has a deep register that is as passionate as a cello. What a fine musical instrument she is! A Guanari or Stad.
Unlike so many prodigies, she didn't start singing professionally when very young. So many fine sopranos lose their vocal abilities this way! One being Maria Callas herself. I have watched so many sopranos being over-used, singing difficult works when too young. In Germany, for example, young singers are not encouraged to sing Wagner until after 30 years of age. Mozart or Verdi are encouraged instead. And heaven help any soprano trying Richard Strauss, especially his Salome, when too young!
Miss Netrebko began her career with the Kirov Opera under the guidance of Valery Gergiev, and continues to appear with that company in performances both in St. Petersburg and on tour around the world. In addition to roles in the Russian repertoire, her performances with the Kirov have included Teresa in Berlioz' Benvenuto Cellini, Amina in La Sonnambula, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. She recently became an exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon, and she can also be heard on several complete recordings under Maestro Gergiev on the Philips Label.
She has been well-guided and I hope this treasure is cared for and not abused. She is so marvelous in nearly every way.
The 1791 Mozart masterwork is the first of six current Met productions to air on the series during 2007. The others are Bellini's "I Puritani," featuring international sensation Anna Netrebko; the world premiere of Tan Dun's "The First Emperor," starring GP stalwart, legendary tenor Plácido Domingo; Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," with another series favorite, beloved soprano Renée Fleming; Bart Sher's acclaimed new staging of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," with great Rossini tenor Juan Diego Flórez; and Jack O'Brien's new take on Puccini's "Il Trittico," conducted by Met music director James Levine.
Prior to their telecast on PBS, the productions will be broadcast live in high definition (HD) to movie theaters throughout North America, Canada, and the United Kingdom, with time-delayed broadcasts in Japan. They will also be shown in HD on PBS.
I no longer live in New York City so I can't go to the opera a lot. I wish I could, with singers like this, it is an unalloyed joy. So it is nice that we can see the opera on TV. Il Puritani was a fun show to watch and all the singers as well as the orchestra were in great form but without the crown jewel, it wouldn't have shone so gloriously.
I am amused at her ability to sing without the slightest sign of strain while lying down with her head hanging over the side of the stage or a bed. Quite a talent! A great opera singer communicates not only with the voice but the entire body. A mobile, expressive face, an impulsive body that expresses deep emotions...in this video, she actually breaks into tears! Bravo.
The sincerity which she feels, her ability to project the emotions of the women she plays, onto herself and then share it with us, is magical and rare. I can only clap my hands from afar and throw roses, metaphorically. Bravissimo, clap/clap/clap.