Thursday, May 17, 2007

Il Trittico by Puccini (with special thanks to the Met in Hi Def)

Dear Amy,

(Author Note: I wrote this a while ago, and forgot to post it. Who knows why.)

Wow! It was so nice to be with you at the Metropolitan Opera's high definition movie screening of Il Trittico. Our only disappointment in the entire afternoon is summed up with the question, "Why didn't they list the singers at the beginning of each of the three operas?" And you had to rush home to the twins and Cloe or you might have said, "Why did they run the credits so fast." It was like a race. Of course, as with most operas, everyone was streaming for the doors anyway (or the rest rooms--the thing did last 4 hours), so I guess it makes some sense.

At any rate, here, to assuage your curiosity is a listing of the primary cast members. Go here, if you want some criticism by Martin Bernheimer.


Giorgetta: Maria Guleghina

Luigi: Salvatore Licitra

Michele: Juan Pons

Suor Angelica: Barbara Frittoli

Sister Genovieffa: Heidi Grant Murphy

Frugola in Il Tabarro, La Principessa in Suor Angelica, and Zita
in Gianni Schicchi : Stephanie Blythe

Lauretta: Olga Mykytenko

Rinuccio: Massimo Giordano

Gianni Schicchi: Alessandro Corbelli

Conductor: James Levine

They say that it takes quite a soprano to sing all three of the main roles in the three one act operas that make up this triptych. Supposedly Beverly Sills tried it and broke down during the performance. In 1981, Renata Scotto sang in all three operas, a feat repeated in 1989 by Teresa Stratas. This time there were three sopranos, but I thought the high point of the production was the singing and acting of Stephanie Blythe who sang Frugola in Il Tabarro, La Principessa in Suor Angelica, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. She made us laugh, cry, and then laugh again. I have never genuinely laughed so hard at an opera as during this particular performance of Gianni Schicchi. (And I think our tears were quite real during Suor Angelica.) And it was Stephanie Blythe who got us hating her and set us up for Suor Angelica's demise.

Blythe is a great actress with a wonderful voice. I am going to keep my ears open for her.

I'm so glad we ran into each other. Hope to see you for next season's eight operas at the movies.

Betsy DeGeorge

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