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<<  -- 3 --  Maria Nockin    A GREAT CREDIT

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Anna Netrebko was a believable Manon who gradually changed from a playful schoolgirl to a woman of the world. One could watch her learn how to obtain a life of luxury using her looks instead of money. Best of all, she sang with complete control of her voice as she acted out her interpretation of the complex character. Rolando Villazón is now one of the top flight tenors of our time and he sang with perfect technique. His voice is even from top to bottom and he combined verisimilitude with dramatic coherence as he sang with smoothly burnished tones.

Rolando Villazón in the first scene of 'Manon'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Rolando Villazón in the first scene of 'Manon'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

Hyung Yun, a relatively new artist, has already established a reputation as a baritone who can inhabit a character and bring the portrayal to life. Here, he was a traitorous cousin who had absolutely no regard for the young relative he is supposed to protect. As the Compte des Grieux, David Pittsinger showed that he has fine vocal technique as well as skillful stagecraft.

Manon and Des Grieux live together, in Act II. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Manon and Des Grieux live together, in Act II. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

Poussette, Javotte and Rosette, the three young actresses looking for rich gentlemen, were commendably sung and energetically portrayed by Hanan Alattar, Lauren McNeese and Michèle Losier. Dale Travis was an agile and believable de Bretigny and Ryland Davies, a spirited Guillot. William Vendice's chorus sang with polished harmonies and moved like individual towns-people. With excellent direction, fine acting, full blooded playing from the orchestra and, most important of all, sumptuous singing, this production is a great credit to Los Angeles Opera and shows that it is now one of the world's leading companies. The same updated realistic production can be seen at Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden in April of next year.

Copyright © 15 October 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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