Not much to say. I basically enjoyed Anna Netrebko's Gilda on the broadcast of Rigoletto. Having read all manner of criticism of her Norina I decided I'd go in with a good attitude rather than bad, determined to like her despite it all. But no. Too dark and heavy, too over the top. I'm still undecided over the voice generally. For the most part, though — and this includes today's Don Pasquale — I do like the sound she makes. Just, I didn't like it in light, frothy Donizetti. I used not to like it at all, and I'm glad that's changed but why oh why this leaden Norina? Beautiful Juan Diego Florez, straight from heaven: you deserve a far lovelier bride. Every moment Ernesto was making any sort of sound, all was well. If only he had more sound to make in this opera. You know me: it's not often I wish away an opera's only soprano but this afternoon I could have done without. I can't hear Beverly Sills' "Quel guardo" without grinning like an idiot; this afternoon I was very nearly scowling. Il Barbiere is a boy-heavy opera and that can frustrate me slightly; no such problems here, with such a mellifluous male line-up, even apart from the sublime JDF. Interesting preparation, this: I've not heard Don Pasquale before (shameful given that I own a studio recording with the incomparable Lucia in the title role) but it's a-comin' to Dunedin in August, a touring NZ Opera production. Conal Coad sings the title role and directs, an infinitely promising prospect given his fantastic Leporello last year; Norina is sung by the cutely rhyming Lorina Gore. At least I can stop rolling my eyes at the prospect of Donizetti comedy (though I'd still far rather something much meatier) — I know now there's plenty to interest me musically in this opera, as long as I don't go crazy listening to it a million times beforehand. Nasty little plot though. Ma che importa?