* Notes *
Last weekend's Saturday matinée of Turandot at the Met proved quite pleasing. Evidently the Zeffirelli production is extravagant, and judging from the audience reaction, the opulence was very much appreciated. Andris Nelsons had the orchestra playing rather loudly at times, the sound was full and rich. There was more than one time that the singers and orchestra were not synchronized, but not enough to spoil the grand effect of the whole piece.
Joshua Hopkins, Tony Stevenson, and Eduardo Valdes were amusing as Ping, Pang, and Pong; their voices sounded nice together, and their timing with each other was precise. Samuel Ramey wobbled a great deal as Timur, he certainly sounded elderly, which is perhaps fine for this part. Marina Poplavskaya (Liù) sang "Signore, ascolta!" with a beautiful plaintiveness, though her breaths were somewhat loud.
As for our two leads, neither were completely splendid, but certainly not terrible either. At times, Maria Guleghina shrieked her way through the title role, however, she was impressively imperious. Frank Poretta (Calaf) was carefully pacing himself for "Nessun dorma," which he sang with sweetness and strength. It did not sound effortless, but it was most moving.
* Tattling *
As I waited in the standing room line for From the House of the Dead, I received a deferential message from the Lectures and Community Programs Fellow letting me know I had been reseated to Score Desk 2, as a band was going to be where I was ticketed for, and that the House Manager and Box Office had both been advised of this. When I arrived at the Score Desk Level, I saw several music stands ready for the off-stage band, and indeed some trumpets and trombones played from there in Act III. One of the house staff found me at Score Desk 2, and kindly made sure that everything was organized properly.