Armida – Go, Stay. Day 71 (10 of 25)
Having heard about the length of Rossini’s Armida currently showing through May 15 at the Metropolitan Opera, I didn’t know if I would stay for the duration of the opera. Thankfully, I can still boast to have never left an opera early at the Met, regardless of its duration or my schedule. If you haven’t seen it yet, it makes its HD debut in theaters this Saturday, May 1 (great for opera lovers on a budget). So because I left Lincoln Center around midnight and have a busy practice, gym, and social schedule this week (getting ready for my first Verdi Requiem!), I present you with my top ten list of why to see Armida (and stay to the end!):
Top Ten Reasons to See All of Armida at The Metropolitan Opera:
9. Their stunning sea and sky backdrop responds brilliantly to some fantastic late-opera lighting effects.
8. I need people to help me determine what they envisioned with the strange black things hanging from the sky in the opening of Act II. Seriously.
7. The Met’s ballet dancers present a fantastic ballo in Act II, complete with some skillful apple throwing and a little naughtiness at the end.
6. In what production will you ever again see and hear six tenors? Oh yes, even a tenor trio in Act III. Tonight, the versatile Barry Banks impressively filled in for Gernando and also sang Carlo.
5. A talented chorus. Oh right, and the men come out of their shells in Act II in tight and fantastically freakish demon costumes.
4. The sets – all of them. A black widow spider. A ladybug that moves, a dragonfly, and giant parrots.
3. The lighting effects. Brilliantly directed and executed throughout.
2. Lawrence Brownlee‘s incredible consistency and excellently executed vocal technique. Most notably, his barbaric yawp of “che son Rinaldo” in Act III. Do not – really – do not miss this.
1. Renee Fleming. She doesn’t push, paces brilliantly, and stylishly traverses Rossini’s treacherously intricate vocal lines while exuding grace and beauty. Her one brief moment of begging truly broke my heart.
That’s all I have to say for now. Go. Stay.