« Boat people. | Main | Paint it black. »

April 26, 2007



Its funny because we thought her Act II lament was her weakest moment. Her Act III was great. Seemed to us she got quivery or something late in Act II. But the woman is only in her 20s and I think there's the making of a fine singer. She certainly takes charge of the stage. And she certainly seemed to be having a good time. Alice Coote was also terrific. Musically the evening seemed solid but nothing hit the height of Blythe and Daniels in the previous revival.

By the way, your comments on the Philadelphia Orchestra concert Saturday night exactly mirrored our reactions to both that concert and the St Louis concert. You need to go back to Verizon and hear Philadelphia play for Rattle or, now especially, Jurowski. Both seem to be conductors they have special connections with. And when either conduct you actually hear the fabled Philadelphia Sound. You dont hear it with Eschenbach.


When De Niese made her debut as Barbarina in that dream team Nozze of 1998 I thought she had really exciting potential. But Tuesday she sounded strained and shrill. She's gorgeous on stage and has wonderful theatrical and musical instincts -- her Cleopatra had much more dimension than Swenson's vocally superior interpretation. De Niese's voice still holds the promise of a rich lyric instrument which won't be realized if she continues like this. Bad idea to sing Cleopatra till your technique is solid!

Steve Smith

Andrew and Susan, thanks very much indeed for these insights.


She might have sounded a bit strained at the first performance. She was just coming off of a strep-throat infection and had had a fever of 103 or so for a number of days before the show. I saw her backstage after the performance that night and she was pretty wiped out. I was actually impressed at how much she still had to give in that condition. She definitely had more ease during her final performance a few days later.


I have had the pleasure of seeing Ms.De Niese in a school production at the Mannes College when i was also attending the school.She was great in it..Very promising talent.The voice a the time in one word beautiful...Although she did have alot of work to do in the voice..SHe posessed the materail to work with..I had the pleasure of seeing her later on some yrs at a recital and it was not that great.The voice was shrill and had an edge which it did not have..Too bad though she is a great talent one that could have been at the level of Renee Fleming...well..too late now...In my opinion,She started to become famous by doing these high profile performances before her technique was solid...What a waste...Hopefully she can pull it together and salvage that voice..As soon as possible..otherwise..as all singers in the classical world know..if you don't attend to the problems of the voice now..through time it will be too late to fix..Good luck to her though..she always seemed very ammbitious and smart to me.....so maybe it is not too late..

The comments to this entry are closed.