Keeping with a long-standing tradition, Renee Fleming kicks off the new season at the Met with scenes from Verdi's Traviata, Massenet's Manon, and Strauss' Capriccio. She is joined by Ramon Vargas and Thomas Hampson.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Violetta / Manon / Countess
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marco Armiliato ...
Himself - Conductor: 'Manon'
Griff Braun ...
Dancers - La Traviata: Act II
Dwayne Croft ...
Kathryn Day ...
Annina - La Traviata: Act II
Michael Devlin ...
Major-Domo - Capriccio: Final Scene
Sara Erde ...
Dancers - La Traviata: Act II
Thomas Hampson ...
Germont
John Hancock ...
Baron Douphol - La Travitata: Act II / De Brétigny - Manon: Act III
Theodora Hanslowe ...
Flora - La Traviata: Act II
James Levine ...
Himself - 'La Traviata' conducted by
Robert Lloyd ...
Christine McMillan ...
Dancers - La Traviata: Act II
Louis Otey ...
Marquis d'Obigny - La Traviata: Act II
Paul Plishka ...
Doctor Grenvil - La Traviata: Act II
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Keeping with a long-standing tradition, Renee Fleming kicks off the new season at the Met with scenes from Verdi's Traviata, Massenet's Manon, and Strauss' Capriccio. She is joined by Ramon Vargas and Thomas Hampson.

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classical | See All (1) »

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Release Date:

22 September 2008 (USA)  »

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Soundtracks

Capriccio, Final Scene
Music by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Clemens Krauss
Conducted by Patrick Summers
Performed by Renée Fleming
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Not so much a concert, more a coronation...
8 September 2009 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Renée Fleming gets to appear in segments from three of her favourite operas in one evening. Well, if ever the post of Queen of England becomes vacant, she would certainly get my vote. The format is a bit like Readers' Digest condensed operas.The only thing that comes near to upstaging Queen Renée is the stage itself. Both Act II of La Traviata and Act III of Manon consist of two contrasting scenes so first we witness the effortless transformation of Violetta's country retreat into a Paris ballroom, then we see a Paris street scene transformed into the chapel of Saint-Suplice. The choice of repertoire gives ample scope to show off the Met's chorus and dancers as well as an array of guest principals.

The evening gets off to a slow start with a lacklustre performance of Zeffirelli's dated Traviata. Thomas Hampson is most to blame here as a wooden Germont. Things pick up with the Manon section. This is one of Renée Fleming's signature roles and she deliciously depicts the coquette who deserts Des Grieux only to seduce him again, years later, the night before his ordination, just because she can. I particularly liked the religious groupies discussing Des Grieux's sermon as if it were a pop concert. Ramon Vargos plays both Germont Fils and Des Grieux in these two excerpts.

After all this spectacle, the musical highlight of the evening is Renée Fleming's solo performance of the end of Strauss's Capriccio. Her rich voice is wonderfully suited to Strauss's soaring vocal line. She dispenses with the elaborate wigs of the previous two sections in favour of a more natural hairstyle and she wears a breathtaking costume by John Galliano. Long live Queen Renée.


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