To say this concert's sublime is an understatement
Coming from somebody who is very enthusiastic about opera and classical music, I loved this concert and found it sublime. And I would say the same for the other Met galas for Domingo/Troyanos and Domingo/Milnes.
Once again, the venue looks very welcoming, the concert is beautifully shot and the sound has great clarity. The orchestra play superbly with wonderful sound, and James Levine's conducting is passionate with no rushed or plodding tempi in sight. Interestingly, his habit of mouthing the words while the soloists are singing isn't apparent.
The music is amazing throughout, not just lots of Rossini but also the Aida and the Madame Butterfly duets, Rinaldo and Les Hugenots and Pace Pace, Mio Dio from La Forza Del Destino. And the orchestra play the I Vespri Siciliani overture, and electrifying it is too. The opera is very uneven but I think underrated, and the overture is one of Verdi's best overtures in my opinion.
Both Marilyn Horne and Leontyne Price are delightful and very radiant here. I think Horne was the one I was more impressed with, though Price is still excellent. Apart from being overshadowed by Price in their Aida duet, Horne throughout the evening is spot on. Her forte here is Rossini, and she shows astonishing technique, and her runs flexible and effortless. Her Non Temer and the Les Hugenots are sheer perfection.
Although she struggles a tad with the Rinaldo number and its sharp turns, Price has several impressive moments here. She shows in the Aida duet why she is considered the finest contemporary Aida with her rich voice, musicianship and sincerity in her acting, and her performances of Dovo Sono the La Rondine aria is very moving. If I had a performance of the concert award it would be Price's hauntingly beautiful Pace Pace, Mio Dio, where you can hear and feel Leonora's despair in every word and that final note was spellbinding. The unreal(in a good way) audience reaction was more than well-deserved.
All in all, like the other two Met galas of that time, Price/Horne Met Gala Concert is sublime. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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