Monday, March 20, 2006
Licitra's singing, Provincial!
I heard Licitra in Tosca in Los Angeles this fall, not once but twice.It was completely appalling. Bad diction, rampant overuse of the glottalattack, and the worst crime, sloppy intonation. Paired with VioletaUrmana, he sounded like a complete hack. He decimated the a cappelladuet section with her in Act 3. I was embarassed for her. I must see at least 15 different offerings each year many of them twice.About half of them have tenors I would not send to the market for milk,let alone on to a stage to represent my company. This includes tenors Ihear people raving about. Alagna, was the worst Canio ever this year.and last year, a merely adequate Rudolfo. I am convinced he would notget gigs at all if it were not for his wife, who is wonderful. Villazonis really one of the few I would go out of my way to see. Between recitals and operas, I hear and see so many different singers.Who the heck knows how some of them get on the stage, but for all thismediocrity, once in a while a performer really amazes me. Such was thatof Angela Gilbert in Lucia in San Diego last month. Milena Kitic inCarmen the season before last in Los Angeles. Grant Youngblood in Toscaat NYCO the season before last and Villazon in well, anything. I often wonder if the upswing in opera production is stretching thesinger pool a bit to the thin side, particularly where tenors areconcerned. Good tenors are becoming an endangered species. Dawn Southwick