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Faust & Furious: After London Withdrawal, Anna Netrebko Hardens with Riccardo and Chiara Muti's 'Manon Lescaut' in Rome

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Mar 07, 2014 03:49 AM EST

Anna Netrebko is the quintessential diva soprano. With one of the fullest dance cards on the operatic circuit, she got so busy, in fact, that she had to pull out of her role in Faust at the Royal Opera House.

Covent Garden aside, Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times has good words for Netrebko in Rome, where she dutifully followed Riccardo Muti in Puccini's Manon Lescaut.

Muti is known, of course, for his rigorous rehearsal regimen (and for not suffering fools). And yet, as Woolfe reports, Netrebko bound herself to the conductor for quite a successful performance--only adding more luster to the Russian's star power.

"While, in the beginning Ms. Netrebko seemed cautious, her voice losing focus at its bottom, it became clear that her understatement was a conscious choice," Woolfe writes.

"In keeping with the sober, melancholy quality of Mr. Muti's conducting and of the production--directed by the actress Chiara Muti, his daughter--this Manon was less vivacious than dreamy, lost in her thoughts," he continues.

Whereas Faust has indeed lost out, it seems Manon was able to snag the singer before she could have a second thought...not entirely unlike this very scene with the French-Italian tenor Roberto Alagna.

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TagsGiacomo Puccini, The Royal Opera House, Faust, Manon Lescaut, Anna Netrebko, Riccardo Muti