A postscript to the broadcast issue: last night I listened the Sirius broadcast of Sondra Radvanovsky singing her first "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera (she has already done the role in Colorado). I won't comment on the quality of sound through my laptop speakers, but it did sound like a pretty exciting performance. Radvanovsky had her unevennesses -- some charge her with a lack of emotional involvement, though I think part of that apparent coolness is a result of her rhythmic unsteadiness, which keeps her slightly apart from the core of the action -- but her "Vissi d'arte" was outright gorgeous, poignant and silvery. And the addition of Roberto Alagna, who stepped in for an indisposed Marcelo Alvarez at the last minute, only helped matters; Alagna, as he showed in the Met's recent "Don Carlo," is a trouper, and turned in a solid, even ardent performance. Sign of a pro: his ability to turn high notes that might have become disasters for a less experienced singer into at least manifestations of gutsy determination ("not only will I not let this note crack, but I will hold onto it until I have half convinced you I meant it to sound this way"). I was initially uncertain about Falk Struckmann's Scarpia, but in Act II he focused his sound, lost some of the woofiness, and turned up the dramatic heat so that the death scene was pretty blood-curdling even (or especially?) without the visuals. The orchestra and chorus sounded unusually fractured under Marco Armiliato's baton. In any case, it sounded like a good night at the opera, and made a good case for Radvanovsky's continuing to sing Tosca; I'd certainly far rather hear her do it than Karita Mattila, who sang the premiere of this Luc Bondy production, but who for all of her merits isn't as good a fit vocally for this particular part.
More broadcast notes: over at the NPR blog Deceptive Cadence, Tom Huizenga did an excellent follow-up on the Dudamel/LA Philharmonic broadcast on Sunday.
Edited to add: And speaking of HD opera broadcasts... ENO is getting on the bandwagon.
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