Today's Saturday Afternoon Broadcast from the Met was the English family version of Mozart's Magic Flute. Ahh what memories. Only, the cast was of course totally different from the version I've seen about 500 times. And the dude who sang Papageno... What were they thinking? English is not his first language, which doesn't really matter, except that his diction was terrible. And his delivery.... Booooorrrriiiiinnnngggg!!!!!! Flat. No sense of timing, no expression in the voice, no, I don't know. Something was missing. Certainly there are plenty of baritones out there who can excel at Papageno. Our Favorite Baritone can't possibly be the only one. Why did the Met pick this guy? I don't know his name and I'm too lazy to look it up.
The Pamina was good, but they cut a huge chunk out of the only aria of hers they left in the production! They just chopped out the whole, "looook Tamino, I am weeping, but you turn and walk away...." part. The entire thing was like 2 minutes long. I think Pamina was Nicole Cabell, who was in Pearl Fishers in Chicago this season with those other guys I've been known to mention here on the blog. It's so not fair to take away most of Pamina's singing.
Tamino, too... don't know who it was but I wasn't thrilled. Perhaps he sounded better live. I could swear he was flat at one point.
Seriously, the only parts that sounded better than the version I know were the ones with the three spirit boys. The audience probably thought so too, since the boys got the loudest applause after each appearance.
I didn't catch Queen of the Night. Wish I did but we were out running errands and were in and out of the car.
So all in all I was not pleased with the performance for a variety of reasons.
Better luck with the casting next time, Met Opera!
*by the way, the title of this post is a also link to a video.