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Do they make them “like that” any more? July 27, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Italian, Netrebko and Villazón, Opera, Theater.
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Judging from this clip of Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón from the first act of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, I would have to say yes.

Netrebko reminds me of Kathleen Battle at that age, hopefully minus the insane off-stage behavior that derailed Battle’s career. (My favorite Batshit Battle story: she calls her agent on her cellphone from the back of a chauffeured limousine, to order then to call the chauffeur and tell him to turn down the A/C.)

Villazón, if anything, shows even more potential. We haven’t had a really good comic tenor since Nicolai Gedda, and Villazón may fit the bill. One of the comments on YouTube said he looks like Mr. Bean, which is true; and in fact I can’t think of a better standard for Nemorino.

And just to have a standard of comparison, a tenor whose comic acting was underrated …

… from 1981, Luciano Pavarotti sings “Una furtiva lagrima” from Act II.

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