Donizetti's Anna Bolena

Scheduling Note: This week's broadcast starts at 12 noon

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Anna Netrebko as Anna Bolena (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

Russian soprano Anna Netrebko plays the role of second-wife-gone-mad in Anna Bolena this Saturday. Donizetti’s career-making opera depicts the ugly fate of Henry the VIII’s second wife Queen Anne Boleyn. The other Anna, Netrebko, easing into the heights of her career, is not to be missed. Netrebko premiered in the role in Vienna last April, shortly before bringing it to the Met for the company's season opener in September.

Anna Bolena made a comeback in the 1950s thanks to a production at La Scala featuring Maria Callas. Saturday’s production is by David McVicar, led by conductor Marco Armiliato.

Cast:

Anna Netrebko – Anna Bolena

Ekaterina Gubanova – Jane Seymour

Ildar Abdrazakov – Henry VIII

Production: David McVicar
Set Designer: Robert Jones
Costume Designer: Jenny Tiramani
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Andrew George

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Comments [9]

I agree with Marianna. In fact, I was surprised at how much I ENJOYED this opera (music, costumes, set and performances.) Ms. Nardone, perhaps Henry was a bit overdone and a bit one note as seen on TV, but one must remember that this is a LIVE performance where the actor MUST "paint" in broadstrokes to be seen and felt in the upper balcony as well as the front orchestra. I thought the tenor was LOVELY with excellent intonation, control and emotion. Tenorino? Perhaps a bit small voiced, but definitely better than some (including a prominent Italian, often cast at the Met, who whines his way to the bank - much to my chagrin!) Tamara Mumford was OUTSTANDING as the page Smeaton. Gubanova was a bit heavy throated for my taste but sang very well and gave a fine performance that portrayed her conflicted feelings quite sympathetically. Ms. Netrebko gave a wonderful performance and was in very good voice displaying far cleaner vocal technique than in her somewhat sloppy performance in I Puritani of a few years ago. Screaming? All these Bel Canto operas have their fair share of "screaming." I think Bernie's observation is noteworthy since as a newcomer, I found Lucia, I Puritani, etc. to be just that! Once we become more familiar with the melodies, it is surprising how that same "screaming" can so easily becomes a thing of beauty to our ears (unless butchered by a screecher, of course. ;) Won't say that Bolena will be in my top five, but I will definitely be re-watching my home made recording many times over.

Feb. 04 2012 04:58 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

Dear Bernie,
You are right. I am a little too salty at times and do not wish to offend. I watched this telecast twice and unfortunately I found it to be screaming in Italian. It was beautiful to look at the costumes and the designer is to be commended. Sorry if I have offended anyone. Really I am sorry. I love Donizetti but not this one.
Best wishes to all

Feb. 04 2012 03:44 PM
Marianna

I loved this opera the first time I saw it, and I love it more each time I hear or see it. Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon preparing for a dinner party. It's a gem - far from a dog!!!

Feb. 04 2012 03:35 PM
Bernie from UWS

Ms. Nardone, we always appreciate your honest assessment. You tell it like it is, even if with a dash of salt sometimes. I wonder, though, if it's an opera you have to spend time with to get to know and love? It's hard to make judgments on anything 3 hours long unless you've really listened to it several times. It could be a dog too. Who knows?

Feb. 04 2012 03:22 PM
larry eisenberg from nyc

What joy Bel Canto is to hear,
With voices so dear & so clear,
From Donizetti's gem
Such great pleasures stem,
Vocal music that I revere.

Feb. 04 2012 02:40 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau County

This opera starts out with a very long overture, trying to sound like Rossini. Hearing Henry say Jane and Percy sounds out of place. Margaret uses Giovanna which sounds better. Anna Bolena is a neglected masterpiece that deserves to be neglected. I would like the Met to stage new productions of Werther, a lovely French story of desperate love. Not waste good money on this. Donizetti has written better music. I watched this telecast twice. What a waste of time and electricity. Tried to be fair. The Henry struts all over the place, the tenor is a tenorino. If I called this opera a dog, I might get some music lovers angry. Woof. Don't get mad. Just because I am a music lover, does not mean I cannot give honest opinions.

Feb. 04 2012 02:18 PM
gjilberta lucaj from NYC

Love operas and classical music...they're both very passionate singers and clean intonation...i'm a professional cellist! ;)

Feb. 04 2012 01:19 PM
Concetta nardone from Nassau county

Greetings Beduzza Cavanaugh,
Sorry you will not be listening. I might be starting up a kerfufel with my snarky remarks. Watched the two telecasts of this dog trying to be fair. The dogs from the hunting scene were charming. Costumes were nice.
Best wishes

Feb. 04 2012 09:54 AM

O Beduzza. Your Tosca comments were on the mark but you won't hear from me today. Bolena is not my cup of tea. BUT NEXT WEEK. I'll be loaded for bear bec. Gotter. is my favorite.

Feb. 04 2012 02:29 AM

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