Star-crossed Met

Natalie Dessay is out of tonight’s prima of Romeo et Juliette at the Met; Maureen O’Flynn sings (and, incidentally, will go into the annals as the “creator” of the role in this particular production). Dessay is still on the roster for Thursday’s performance.


12 Responses to “Star-crossed Met”

  1. To do this justice you need more than a stratospheric soprano legere. Way too hefty in a big house like the MET for Natalie?

  2. l'Italiana in Bristol Says:

    Poor Dessay, is she ever going to come back or is she going to continue cancelling forever?

  3. Chalkenteros Says:

    Mon dieu! Was this a cancellation or was she replaced?

  4. Just Another Tenor Says:

    I am so upset that she is sick!
    On another note, I disagree entirely that Natalie could not do it. She has, allegedly, been sounding great in rehearsal. Keep in mind that the role was written for a Sybil Sanderson type, and NOT for a big voice. I think Natalie will shine in this role, because her voice has a sufficient amount of “ping” to carry over the orchestra without pushing.
    I plan to see this, and I am anxious for what I think will be a revelation as to what Juliette can be!

  5. I look forward to seeing Dessay in the role…I saw O’Flynnn this evening and BRAVA to her for the last minute save–but it was not a particularly strong performance.

  6. il tenore di grazia Says:

    I sure hope Dessay’s replacement was due to a temporary indisposition and nothing else. I look forward to seeing her in the role in February.

  7. ffoperabitch Says:

    I was distressed, but not surprised, to first hear of Mme Dessay’s vocal problems quite some time ago.

    I first heard her live (again – no, I don’t live there) at the Albert Hall where she duetted beautifully with Dwayne Croft in their guises as Ophelie and Hamlet.

    Warning signs came with her Mozart Recital and the French Aria recital confirmed my fears.

    These were realized in her broadcast Olympia from the Met. Yes, the G’s in altissimo were superficially impressive but I kept asking myself “At what cost?” The Gs in question had an almost dramatic soprano quality about them: they were certainly pushed.

    Even in the Mozart recital, I was worried about the demands she was asking, albeit for dramatic purposes, of her middle range. There was a glottal and chesty element to some of the middle Fs.

    I wonder how much she takes her voice off complete breath support, and onto the throat, to get drama into what is essentially a fairly monochrome voice.

    My best wishes are with her and hope that she can finally overcome her problems. She is a singer who deserves a break: a charming presence, a musician and someone that we would be sorry to lose.

  8. I ran into some backstage folks from the Met at the subway after the performance and they said that Dessay was genuinely sick and had not missed rehearsals

  9. Just Another Tenor Says:

    “Strapping” is in fashion again, according to the latest review of Mr Thomassini’s of R+J

    “Stéphane Degout, in his Met debut, brings a hardy voice and a strapping physique to Mercutio”

    Glad to know all is back to normal in the life of Queer reviewing

  10. I don’t see why Natalie Dessay couldn’t sing the part… The question is : will she sing the poison scene, which I think is the most dramatic and that even Angela Gheorghiu doesn’t sing on stage.

  11. Just Another Tenor Says:

    Someone, anyone, how did she do last night?

  12. I’m a devout Dessay fan and have downloaded just about every single bootleg recording that I can find! I saw her Lucia in Chicago and literally cried after the mad scene. She was fantastic and even threw plates around before she fell to the floor where she sang an amazing e-flat. Her singing was perfect that night.
    I saw Natalie sing Juliette last night Nov. 25th. First of all I have to say that her acting was unbelievably great. She truly embodied a vibrant 15 year old girl. Her presence on stage gave me goose bumps and I couldn’t get enough of it. Now to be completely honest I have to say that Dessay’s singing did not overwhelm me in any emotional sense as it did during Lucia. I enjoyed every second of her singing but I really feel that A.) Romeo et Juliette is not the greatest opera and B.) the role of Juliette is just a tiny bit heavy for Ms. Dessay. She sang the music very carefully and did not push to add any extra vocal weight. This being said I felt that the performance was very good but not stellar. In other words Natalie Dessay sang the role of Juliette very well, but will not make it a signature piece in anyway.
    A highlight of the evening was her singing of the Poison aria!!! I was clenching my fists during the time leading up to it! I was so thrilled that she did it. She sang the aria very well although like the rest of the opera it was sung without any extra vocally dramatic inflections that we’re all accustomed to hearing from Dessay.
    Overall I felt that Ms. Dessay sang Juliette incredibly well without stamping her signature on it. Does that make sense? I really don’t want to write anything negative about her, it is just that I left the performance feeling a little less than star-struck. She sang exceptionally well but did not always leave me thinking “Dessay’s Juliette is the only Juliette to date.”
    I did wait around to get her autograph and asked her if she’d be singing Puritani anytime soon hahah. She told me that she thought that “Sonnambula was more beautiful”… definitely don’t know if I agree. I think that Puritani is overall a good deal more interesting. She is a completely down to earth and was so nice.
    All in all I hope that I haven’t said anything to discourage anyone from seeing Dessay’s Juliette. She is a stellar performer, but I think that this role is just not ideal. She sings it very well and does not try to be a heavier singer than she is.
    Ms. Dessay informed me that she’d be singing Lucia at the Met during the 07/08 season and that Hamlet and Sonnambula would follow. I think that those three roles are perfect for her and that we are all in for a totally indulgent experience. I hope that my rambling didn’t make me seem to be any less of a Natalie Dessay fan… I’m truly enthralled and have been for some time. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: