Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This performance opened my eyes to a score I've never reckoned, 17 July 2012
This review is from: Puccini - Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera) [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I have never been won over by "Manon Lescaut", but the sheer drama of this performance made me sit up. Mattila sings wonderfully, and the production is sumptuous. I still think the libretto is , let's say, on the unbelievable side, but with a performance as tight as this, wonderfully conducted by Levine, I simply cannot now resist this opera.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2012 15:26:14 BDT
Gosh, Glilla, I'm glad you like this so much. I wish I could say the same. I really thought this was awful and very badly sung and acted. It just goes to show how subjective all this is, doesn't it? Have you seen the last production from the Met with Domingo?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 15:35:24 BDT
Glilla Bear says:
Hello Nigel! Well, I have to confess to not knowing the opera that well. Whenever I have heard bits of it, they've left me cold. All that changed when I saw Karita in the role - I was seized by her dynamism and commitment. I have had one or two comments to the effect that I should now watch other performances - and I will, when I get the time! To be fair, I think Karita Mattila is an artist one either loves or hates. I really like her Tosca, but I can imagine others positively cringeing at it! At the moment I am so bogged down in operas to "learn up" for future visits to ENO etc, that I seem to have time for nothing else at all! I envy my friends who seem not to need to "prepare" for such events. Anyway, thanks for commenting on my review. I'll let you know if I do get down to watching other performances, and what I make of them. Glilla Bear

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 16:07:12 BDT
Glilla, that is wonderful - it really is. Opera has been an important part of my life since I was 11 years old and my parents took me to see Pavarotti in Tosca at Covent Garden. I have been hooked ever since (and I'm 52 now!) and fortunately I have managed to hook both my kids too (James, 20 & Will, 16). If Karita moved you like that, then that is what opera is all about - it draws on every emotion mercilessly. That's why football (which I'm also crazy about) and opera complement each other so well.
I actually really like Karita Matila (ever since she won Cardiff Singer of the World) and have seen here at Covent Garden (Don Carlos, Katya Kabanova) and at the Met (Salome). I also like her Tosca and felt she has been unjustly critisised in the States for her portrayal of Tosca; when in my view, it was the production that let everything down - not her.
However, if she has been the door that let you in to this wonderful musical world (which I am quite obsessive about) then that is wonderful. I can't wait to tell my wife about our correspondence when she gets in from work tonight.
What are you going to see at the ENO?
By the way, whatever your friends may say; we always have to prepare when we attend a work new to us. It's comforting to know that we shall never see or know all the operas out there - at the moment my obsession is Wagner and Richard Strauss.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 16:50:55 BDT
Glilla Bear says:
Hi Nigel,
Thanks you for your truly encouraging comments. I have been what the French call a "melomane" since I was about 3 years old, but only got round to opera properly some 4 or 5 years ago, I am now 64!! I have taught music and piano for decades without ever really getting into opera at all. Mercifully, a serious illness put paid to all my teaching two years ago, and I haven't taken it up again. "Every silver lining has a cloud". I "blame" two of my best friends for this - they really ONLY like opera, so they are relatively well off as regards finding time to prepare for things. I have had to make a list to decide which operas to learn up first! We are so well off for opera in the SE of England. Here's my list, and I haven't even added 'Ariadne auf Naxos' or 'Don Pasquale' from Glyndebourne. As I write I am listening to Handel's 'Jephtha' (not really an opera, I know) which Welsh National Opera is doing in Southampton next month:
Giulio Cesare, L'Heure Espagnol, L'Elisir d'Amore, Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Belisario, Jephtha, Edgar, Rusalka, Don Quichotte, Ballo in Maschera, Lustige Witwe, Les Troyens, La Boheme, Maria Stuarda, Gerontius (not an opera, I know - but it still needs some attention from me before I go!) Radamisto, Rigoletto, Yevgeny Onegin, Parsifal, L'Assedio di Calais, Francesca da Rimini, Die Feen, Simon Boccanegra, Nabucco, Alzria, Lohengrin. Possibly also 'Maometto II' at Garsington and 'I Puritani' at Grange Park Opera. Phew! Expensive, too, because for every opera I go to I have to get DVDs and CDs to 'prepare' - well, it's a good excuse anyway....' AND I haven't renounced my love for other music either. So I get kinda busy (not to say giddy) with it all! Trouble with Amazon is that they make it all so easy.
Nice to hear from a genuine music lover such as yourself. My name's Greg, by the way - Glilla Bear is my - um - nom-de-plume(!)
Best, Greg

Posted on 19 Jun 2014 12:45:01 BDT
dacochrane says:
Try the first run of this production on dvd with scotto, domingo and also levine on great form!
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