(Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
Dare I say it was all about Natalie? This isn't a review, so yes, I do. It was. All about Natalie. For me, at any rate. The last time I saw Lucia di Lammermoor I decided I never really needed to see it again, and this would have remained the case, had I not had the chance to see Natalie sing it again. She was the reason I saw it twice in San Francisco three years ago, she was the reason I demanded we see it here in New York, and she's the reason that both of those were excellent decisions. Three times now, she's captivated me in that role.
Nobody does crazy like Natalie. I think the mad scene this time around was better than in San Francisco (though I did miss the unexpected and haunting cadenza from that earlier production) and she was in very pretty, very Natalie voice throughout. Which is to say: I know she's not everyone's favourite soprano. But she sure is one of mine and tonight gave me plenty of pearly reasons why. I love it when she sings softly, I love it when she screams, I love those high notes and all that coloratura, and — I have to be honest — I even love the occasional gaps in her voice, the bits that don't quite go to plan. She's just Natalie, and I love her, and while I still really don't ever need to hear Lucia again, if I should come across her singing it in yet another city someday, it's safe to say I'll be booked like a flash.