|Jessica Pratt as Lucia|
Melba was in excellent voice last night, and consequently she was heard to the best advantage. It would be easy enough for a genuine actress to make the rôle of Lucia theatrically effective in spite of the hollowness of the pretty music, but no one ever does act it, and consequently the public has come to accept it as a part in which the unaided exhibition of vocal technics is the whole issue. This is a good attitude for Mme. Melba, for she never acts, even when she thinks she does. But she sings admirably, and last night her work was up to its best mark.There are some vocal imperfections: Pratt's trill is uneven. It's there but effortful. It's not the kind of rustling beauty of, say, Joan Sutherland (another Aussie)! As mentioned the middle of her voice doesn't make nearly the impact as her upper register. But it was a triumph -- unlike Olga Peretyatko earlier in the season, she can sing this music with panache and style.
|Grigolo, photo @ Richard Termine|
|Entire cast at curtain calls|
Is Jessica Pratt the next Joan Sutherland? Maybe not, but she is a great Lucia whom I hope to hear a lot more of in the future.
|Three Tall Women, photo @ Brigitte Lacomb|
|B, A, and C in the first half -- photo @ Sara Krulwich|
In the second half A, B, and C emerge as the same woman in three different phases of life. C is 26, B is 52, A is 92. I don't want to give too much away but suffice to say the play's tone turns darker as one learns about all the pain, anger and disappointment behind a life that on the surface screamed "white privilege." Director Joe Mantello makes no attempt to make the three actresses act less distinct -- Jackson still speaks in her plummy British accent, Metcalf still exudes the kind of earthy humor that's made her so successful on shows like Roseanne, and Pill is still brittle and juvenile. But that's the brilliance of it -- the differences between the actresses turns the story into a Rashomon as we're never sure if A, B, or C are reliable narrators. The play's final moments are chilling. Glenda Jackson as A and Laurie Metcalf as B absolutely deserve Tony's. This was bar none the best thing I saw on Broadway and off-Broadway this season.
Attending Luisa Miller was quite fun as I got to meet both people I've known online and some pretty famous singers. To Rowna, Sophia, Helmut, and Ellen: so great to finally meet y'all in person! And here's some pictures at the stage door.
|My signed program|
|A great quartet of singers, no?|