Luisa Miller: Live in HD

I attended the April 14 2018 Metropolitan Opera‘s Live in HD Broadcast of Giuseppe Verdi‘s Luisa Miller.  This is the first time since 2006 that the opera has been performed by the Met, but it was worth the wait.

The performance stars Sonya Yoncheva (Luisa Miller), Piotr Beczala (Rodolfo), Plácido Domingo (Miller), Olesya Petrova (Federica), Alexander Vinogradov (Count Walter), and Dmitry Belosselskiy (Wurm.)  The production is conducted by Bertrand de Billy, in a production by Elijah Moshinsky, with sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto, and lighting by Duane Schuler.  The revival director is Gregory Keller.

The staging is updated from 17th Century Austria to 19th Century England, but still works.  The only ‘issue’ and it’s really a minor one is that Walter is still referred to as ‘Count Walter’, not ‘Earl Walter’.

The highlights were the three principals.  Ms. Yoncheva became the first performer to appear in three Live in HD Broadcasts in one season, and all since January (Tosca, La Bohème, and now Luisa Miller.)  She was wonderful as Luisa, and this was her first run of performances in the role.  Mr. Beczala’s Rodolfo was young and torn.  He really loved Luisa, and was generously upset when he thought that she did not love him.  Mr. Domingo’s Miller was moving and touching.  Although perhaps not a true baritone, his performance and ability to reach the audience made up for a voice that was perhaps a bit too high for the role – but not noticeable by his performance.

Maestro de Billy, filling in for the recently fired Maestro Levine, provided a well rounded musical performance and The Met’s orchestra was up to their normal high standards.  This helped to add to the wonderful singing by the chorus and soloists.

The production continues with two more performances in the opera house (April 18th and 21st), and sees five encore performances in the cinema (four dates in May, one in June.)  If you get the chance to go see it.  You will not be disappointed.

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