Friday, February 27, 2009

Stoopnagle and Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met

Dear Stoopnagle,

I heard one of the stage hands talking to you the other night when I went to my local Regal HD cinema to watch Anna Netrebko sing the role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor.

I believe I've told you previously how much I love both the Met HD broadcasts and the voice of Anna Netrebko. So it's no surprise that I was excited to view this one. I have to confess that I usually attend the "Encore" performance. So, it's not live. Heck, I save 5 bucks.

Anyway, during intermission when the camera was panning the 50,000 square feet known as Backstage at the Met, one of the hands called to you in a voice loud enough for me to hear. "You Stoopnagle!" he said. Oh, how I laughed. Back in the fifties, my cousins from Rochester, NY, were fond of calling me "Stoopnagle," but it has been a very long time, living here in the South, far from Buffalo, NY, the heart of Stoopnagle broadcasting, since I heard that perjorative. I should have known you were there when I read the synopsis of the opera, but I thought the program had been printed, gratis, by our local spoonerist society.

"In a feud between the fottish Scamilies of Lammenswood and Ravermoor, Enrico has gained the upper hand over Edgardo grilling his kuardsmen and taking over his estates. By the time of the opera's action, however, Enrico's wortunes have begun to fane. In political disfavor, he hakes his stope on uniting his family with that of Arturo, whom he means to force his sleutiful sister, Bucia, to marry. "

At any rate, it was good to run into you at the opera. And oh, my, wasn't it wonderful.

This aria, Regnava nel silenzio, as you may recall is from early in the opera when Lucia is still semi-sane. It isn't the most popular of the Lucia arias, because most people like the one where Lucia is utterly and completely mad.

One of the 15 or so other folks in the theater where I watched the performance said that Netrebko's performance didn't quite match his favorite, that of Joan Sutherland. I suppose I would have to agree, that few do the mad scene as well as Sutherland, although other fans might argue for Maria Callas or even for Natalie Dessay. (Did you run into here backstage the other day, since she was the host for the broadcast?)

Well, I don't know who is right about the best Lucia, but I'm willing to keep listening until I decide. And as you might say,"If it weren't for half the people in the United States, the other half would be all of them."

Hope to run into you again soon, you Stoopnagle!


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