It must be the tryptophan from the (kosher, organic) Thanksgiving turkey: I forgot to post the Newsday review by vilaine fille alter ego Marion Lignana Rosenberg of the Met's Carmen.
Alas, Denyce Graves is still in dicey form following her recent health challenges, but the rest of the cast is strong, and Philippe Jordan leads a taut, electrifying account of the score. If, like me, you suffered through James Levine's sludgy, leaden reading of Carmen last season, you owe it to yourself to give your ears a thorough scrubbing chez Jordan.
When Marcello Giordani is good, he's very, very good, particularly in a final scene so powerfully played that it's almost too painful to watch. (Who knew that Giordani had such darkness within him? Don Alvaro, anyone?)
Sor Giorgia, who first alerted us to the charms of young Peppino Filianoti, was right about Erwin Schrott, too. His voice is just as firm and opulent in the house as it is on disc, and—yowza!—does he set pulses racing. (Can you say… testosterone? *Yum.*) Seriously, this giovinetto has million-dollar pipes and charisma to burn and, like Filianoti, he is for now nowhere to be seen on the MetManiac Future Seasons page. I'm considering a trip to London in January for Nozze with an over-the-moon cast (Schrott, Finley, Röschmann, Persson, Shaham) and Traviata starring new vilaine fille coqueluche Ana María Martínez.
Indeed, Martínez's Micaëla walked away with this Carmen. I've been keeping tabs on her mostly via broadcasts (her Houston Roméo et Juliette, which I've not heard, is on NPR World of Opera today), and I reviewed her début CD for TONY earlier this month. Her voice is smaller than I had expected, but she doesn't force it, and she is musical and elegant to the depths of her soul. With rare exceptions—Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's Didon, Giuseppe Sabbatini's des Grieux, Ferruccio Furlanetto's Brogni, and recent appearances by vilaine fille's darling husband—I have not heard French music sung this beautifully at the Met since the days of Alfredo Kraus.
Come to think of it, I have never been to Paris in May…