Musetta gets the prize today

Today’s NY Met matinee broadcast of La Bohème had mixed moments. Puccini’s great music was matched with the Met’s great orchestra, which was lovingly directed by Carlo Rizzi.

Unfortunately, Marcello Giordani as Rudolfo cracked his voice going for the high C in Act I, and was audibly hoarse until he began to recover sometime in Act III. He also had a lot of trouble with the tempi, often getting out of sync with the orchestra. He seemed to improve with time — by the end, there was enough quality evident to warrant giving him another chance.

Dwayne Croft as Marcello was solid.

Cristina Gallardo-Domâs appeared for the second week in a row: last week, as Madama Butterfly; here, as Mimi. My criticism is the same for both weeks: she sings sharp, and compensates by too large of a vibrato. The combination delivers a grating effect. Her Italian diction is also quite poor.

(I think a great deal of benefit would accrue to the operatic world if young singers were auditioned with the rule to sing without vibrato. This would weed out those that aren’t really singing on pitch.)

The Musetta was Ainhoa Arteta. Her voice was beautiful and under full control both high and low. I look forward to hearing her again.

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