Operagasm Review Rundown: Met’s Arabella
by Christie Connolley
C’est fin Auguin: “Philippe Auguin had trouble keeping all the moving parts in order, causing more confusion than clarity in Strauss’s already complex writing. There was little imagination in his reading, and the usually robust Met orchestra sounded oddly anemic. Auguin’s best moments came in the second act, when the orchestra rallied for a moment of romantic sweep as the leading couple shared their first kiss. But even there, ensemble suffered, forcing the singers to break their rapt eye contact to stare into the pit.”
Well of course she is legit, there is an umlaut in her name: “Malin Byström had previously sung only a handful of performances at the Met (Marguerite in Faust, 2011), but she proved more than capable of tackling the tile role in Strauss’s roller-coaster romance. She was utterly convincing as the beautiful debutante, projecting a mix of youthful innocence and worldly maturity. She has an ideal voice for the part—warm and silken in its middle register, with a generous but nimble vibrato. The role doesn’t often venture into extreme highs or lows, which meant that Byström was able to carry a velvet tone through most of the performance, but when she needed to soar, she did so magnificently.”
Well, a fur coat is typically worn by pimps so….: ”Volle is 54, a bit seasoned for the role [Mandryka]. When he tromped onstage in the first act wearing a gigantic fur coat, he seemed more like an eccentric, lecherous man-of-a-certain-age than a roguish, youngish love interest.”
Check out the full review here!