After having seen two of the five operas in Santa Fe, I'm really impressed with the excellence of this year's casting.
It isn't easy to blow fresh life into an all-time favourite like La Bohème. It's an opera about young people and in order to be credible it needs to be sung by young singers, but young singers with grown-up voices. The cast assembled by my colleagues here in Santa Fe lived up to these requirements and gave a freshness and emotional immediacy to Puccini's opera that's lacking from so many repertoire performances elsewhere. Santa Fe's Rodolfo, David Lomelí, will soon be with us to share performances with Dimitri Pittas as the Duke in Rigoletto. He's a very special singer to me and I'm glad he's coming to the COC for this and other projects in the future.
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of Giancarlo Menotti's music, but yesterday's performance of The Last Savage was as good as it gets. Conducted by (sadly) former New York City Opera Music Director George Manahan the piece was a sparkling fit for a mild Santa Fe summer night and a huge success with the audience. Canadian baritone Daniel Okulitch was the Savage and I was thrilled to see three members of the COC Orchestra enter the stage to perform at the party scene in the second act. I'd like to mention two more members of the cast, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as the Maharanee, who was our Emilia in Otello a few seasons back and whom I would love to see back at the COC, and American coloratura Anna Christy as the anthropologist Kitty, who will come to the COC in a major bel canto part soon.
My next date at Sante Fe Opera will be the Apprentice Scenes on Sunday evening.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (1) / permalink
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