As you see from the photo above the year long renovation construction of Lincoln Center is still taking place, although it seems to be in its final stages. The beautiful fountain in the plaza is surrounded by a construction fence, as are other sections of the plaza, but we were still able to walk into the front entrance of the opera house.
A beautiful large translucent mural was hanging from the front of the building of another opera also being performed in April, "La Sonnambula," by composer Vincenzo Bellini.
The entire synopsis of the opera can be read at this link, but it is basically the story of Adina, a beautiful, intelligent and wealthy woman living in a rural Italian village. She is adored by a bumbling, illiterate villager named Nemorino, who shyly professes his love to her only to receive her scorn.
In last night's performance Adiana was played by the beautiful soprano Angela Gheorghiu. She gave a soaring performance that increased in crescendo until her arias in part two were unbelievable in their power and pitch. I was exhausted holding my breath as she hit every high note, and held it for many beats, as she remained light and airy coquettish in her demeanor.
The tenor Massimo Giordano played the role of Nemorino, and from his first aria of "Quanto e bella" the audience knew we were in for a treat as his voice was deep and commanding and remained so through the opera, almost drowning out the voices of Franco Vassallo who played the part of Sergeant Belcore, Adina's other love interest and Simone Alaimo who played the part of Dr. Dulcamara, the charlatan elixir seller.
There was a palpable anticipation in the opera house as Giordano walked out in Act 2 to begin the aria "Una Furtiva Lagrima," and he did not disappoint, although I do not believe his performance was not as powerful and poignant as Luciano Pavorotti who performed in the role of Nemorino at The Met 49 times between 1973 and 1998.
Enrico Caruso was the most legendary Nemorino before him, and he performed the role 32 times before his untimely death at age 48.
I am always fascinated by the Swarovski crystal chandeliers that hang like diamonds in the Met's lobby and since there was still some daylight as a backdrop I took some more photos of them, to contrast to the ones I've shown on prior opera blog posts that were taken when it was dark outside.
The lights are being raised! The house lights will dim, the orchestra will begin playing the overture and the curtain will rise....it is an exciting feeling everyone should experience at least once! Check out the upcoming 09 - 10 season of The Metropolitan Opera here.
Finally, because I couldn't resist, I'll leave you with this parting photo from the parking garage located under Lincoln Center, and one of the reasons I rarely drive into Manhattan......