I am a big opera enthusiast, and I saw this concert as a big fan of Placido Domingo and being consistently impressed with the late Tatiana Troyanos. I have seen all three Met Gala concerts from 1982-3, one with Marilyn Horne and Leontyne Price, one with Domingo and Sherrill Milnes and this, all conducted by James Levine. I don't know which I prefer, I love them all equally, as far as I'm concerned, all have superb music and all five singers(including Milnes, despite the vocal crisis) on top form.
The whole concert is shot beautifully, and the venue handsome and welcoming. Plus the whole performance has a certain brightness and clarity that made the experience all the more enjoyable. The orchestra throughout play superbly, making the most of the lush orchestration. James Levine, apart from his habit of mouthing the words along with Domingo and Troyanos(one may say it's all part of him loving his job, others may find it annoying), conducts with great solidity with well judged tempos.
The music throughout is amazing. Not just the Aida and Cavalleria Rusticana duets, but the solos Ah So Ben Mio from Il Trovatore and O Don Fatale from Don Carlo. All have wonderful melodies and performed with vocal and emotional commitment.
Domingo is just wonderful here. As handsome and as ardent as he ever was, he is also in golden voice. He sings so musically and certain phrases with delicacy as well as not being afraid to sing passionately in a genuine sense and actually bring some of the character onto the stage(something I don't always see with singers in concert). Ah So Ben Mio especially epitomises this.
Troyanos uses her lush mezzo voice to perfect use, and looks beautiful too. She sings the Cavalleria duet beautifully, however if there is a slight let down while she gives her all to it I think the Aida segment was a little too heavy for her. Where she really shines though is in the Norma duet where she is as vocally opulent as ever, and in O Don Fatale, where it is very emotionally committed and shows security in the high and low register.
Before finishing, I have to mention Domingo and Troyanos' entrance at the start, it was so emotional and even nostalgic. All in all, operatic heaven. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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