It's my own fault, and I know it. The last two times I had a post disappear due to browser-interface anxieties, I swore it would never happen again. "I'll be smarter next time, you'll see." (I even sketched notes in longhand during intermissions at the Met's Rigoletto tonight.)
But, having eagerly spent more than three hours writing up said performance in great detail -- followed by short-but-substantial codas on my return to Julie Taymor's Magic Flute on Monday night and a Tuesday showcase of Dead Man Walking excerpts in which most of the people around me wore clerical collars -- only to have the whole thing disappear without a trace when the tiniest edge of my palm brushed ever-so-slightly against my touchpad...
Here's all the recap I can manage: Villazon's brilliantly sleazy Duke is everything Verdi apparently actually wanted, and a still-frustrating Netrebko sometimes rises to her partner's level. He's technically a lot better than she is; both are fascinating, important and worth watching. (And Burchinal brings more papa-love to the title role than Guelfi did.) Domingo-as-conductor serves his heir apparent well. Taymor's magic whirling pachinko machine remains beautiful, playful and neophyte friendly without condescension, even when everyone but Sarastro is slightly less winning than in round one. (And why does anyone get upset about puppet bears when the hero is singing about saving the day with a flute?!) And criticism is pretty much irrelevant when you're listening to Frederica von Stade and Joyce DiDonato delivering money shots from Dead Man Walking at a distance of about 20 feet -- in a big church. (Still, I want to hear more of Trinity Church soloists Hai-Ting Chinn, Andrew Nolen and Tim Krol.)
Trust me that the original post was far more detailed, and quite possibly more insightful. Meanwhile, I'm going to bed.